He was covered all in sweat,As I tied my old horse there in the shade.He said, “An old horse that will stand more than five minutes,Oh, there ain’t never been one made.”
He wore an old ragged pair of leggings,That had been cut off just below the knees.His old hands were hard and callused,And his arms were like two limbs of a giant oak tree.
He said, “You reckon you could hold this old feller?
He seems to have a lot of trouble standing still.
Why you’d think after forty- five years of doing this,I’d had enough and got my fill.
“Trimming and shoeing these old horses,Is sort of like dealing with life.If you do it with pride and honestyYou’ll get through the times of trouble and strife.”
With that shoe in hand and a mouth full of nails,
He went back and resumed his chore.“Pick it up, Old Feller,” he mumbled,“We just like this one and then one more.”
Well, he nailed that shoe on pretty quick,
And never missed his aim.He said, “Sometimes in life you really have to struggle,If there’s going to be any kind of gain.
“Take that old anvil there,That I use to shape the shoes.Sometimes in life we’ve all got to have a little adjusting,To keep us straight, to keep us true.
“It’s just like everyday living,’Cause sometimes you don’t get a fair deal.
Some of these horses are pretty good,And some act awful ill.”
Well, I watched him untie this old horse,
His back still slightly bent.And in my mind I wondered about the many hours,Under an old horse’s belly that he had really spent.
By now his old shirt was salted down,
And soaked by the summer sun.And it didn’t take him long a-trimming,
And my old horse was done.
I thanked him for his story,And I paid him for his time.And as I was riding away I could hear his old anvil,Ringing and making a perfect chime.
Well, there ain’t a day that went by,That I didn’t think of him and his advice.And I’d usually stop by and see him every week,
Sometimes more than twice.
But now the horses,They ain’t lined up no more.His old anvil just sets there silent,And his leggings lay empty on the floor.
Yeah, sometimes I go to wondering,And it makes me feel sort of sad.But the good Lord needed a farrier,And He got the best one when he hired my dad.
*I wrote this poem the night my daddy died after a long battle with cancer. Writing poetry become my way of dealing with the grief- and I sure do miss him.