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The Old Smithy


I met a wordsmith once;

he worked in our village.

He nailed words onto the hooves

of horses: Walk and Trot

on the front feet, Canter

and Gallop on the rear.


His customers took their horses

back to him, complaining

the words didn’t last long enough.

He tried several variations

using cardboard instead of paper

and laminating the words.


It was no good, the card

lasted little longer than the paper

and the laminations lead the

horses to slip on grassy slopes.

On roads and tracks, the grit

pierced them just as easily.


He had to retire, disappointed

that his experimental work

wasn’t appreciated by the wider

public. In his later years he

tried casting words on horseshoes,

kept them in heavy notebooks.

copyright © 2017 Simon Williams.

First appeared in Riggwelter



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