Spanker, Sharper, Prince and Bob
Were horses that my father drove
Through rain, through clay, down car-free roads
The workless tramped, for his first job.
He told me as we waited, bored,
Outside my dozing mother’s ward
Bob kicked him sailing down the yard.
Bob also bolted from the tree,
Dragged with clanked chain. The closest shave
Came when he swayed back, peacefully,
Legs tapping Spanker’s sun-warm side,
Back to the hay, from dinner break.
The great grey Belgian reared beside,
Horse, cart, crashed toppling like a tree.
The shaft’s kink saved his battered sides.
Six Irish shearers dragged him free.
A bungalow’s quiet bedroom took
Breath neither weight nor war could rob.
Out of the dark with patient feet
Came Spanker, Sharper, Prince and Bob.