Sarah Brown Weitzman


The clop of hoofs
upon the cement pavement
always called me
after school
to the blacksmith’s door
to watch him
shoe town horses.
There I could smell
the forge’s neonorange mouth
and sometimes
was allowed to work
the bellows.
The blacksmith knew
by color
when to tong
the metal out
when to put it back
when to strike
red sprays of sparks
that blinked out
before they reached
the floor.  On quiet days
the blacksmith banded
barrels or fixed a rake
to its handle.  But best
was that nail
worked from red
to white then hissed
back to sudden black again
in a pail of water
when John
the blacksmith’s son
forged for me
a friendship ring
of iron.

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