essential eulogy

one’s personal history
is collection of stories;
some you live through,
others you listen to
but all family stories
are part of our metal,
hammered and shaped
by past into present…

townspeople reckon
village blacksmith as
skilled craftsman and
“real good worker” but
self-respect can slide
like hot iron horseshoe
when own brood of
children run barefoot.

villagers whisper
behind callous hands
“it’s a real shame”
he drinks too much,
(and too often) so when
smithy dies penniless,
they bury him in back
corner of town cemetery.

lone unmarked grave
swallowed by prairie sod
yet remembered by God
and my grandpa, who
(as re-told by my father)
later paid for a small flat
stone to honor passing
of a hard-wrought life.

29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Candy
    Jun 26, 2015 @ 23:01:59

    … hammered and shaped by past into present … what a great phrase! Nicely done.


    Jun 26, 2015 @ 17:10:40

    This is so well done, poignant–I love “hard-wrought life”, perfect ending.


  3. MarinaSofia
    Jun 26, 2015 @ 14:11:11

    A touching tribute to a so-called ‘small life’, so often anonymous, that so much of our present wealth and well-being is built upon. A nice storytelling touch to it as well.


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