Death of Horseshoes

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
A vivid memory from my childhood is of the men in our neighborhood gathering after work for a game of horseshoes in a vacant lot that was next to our house. It seems to me that the pace of life was more relaxed then. Work was from 9-5 and then it was time to knock off and play a game of horseshoes.
For those of you who are not familiar with this game, a U-shaped metal horseshoe is thrown onto a metal stake that is placed in a sawdust square about 12 meters away. The player to throw the closest to the stake after a series of throws is the winner. A ringer is made when the thrown horseshoe encloses the stake.
Besides concentrating on the game’s skill there is a lot of time in between to chat with each other about the day. Each of the men would relate his hopes and woes to each other or talk about current events. It all went over my head of course but from their laughter and tone of voice I could see that they enjoyed sharing their hearts.
All of that disappeared with the advent of TV in the 50’s.

Submitted: May 03, 2016

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Submitted: May 03, 2016

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Death of Horseshoes

Carved from a patch of Apache Road’s forest

Was the neighbourhood horseshoe court.

Centred in a sawdust square

Was the iron-poled target

That each man skilfully sought to encircle.

 

After work the men met for a match of manhood

As if moved by a magnet

Nothing else held such strong sway over them

With  squinted brow and  stern stare

The thrower  sized up the scene

took one, two, three, steps

then with fervent fling

Swung - setting his shoe sailing

Adding a few body jerks

Just for extra magical effect

Hoping to help hit the target…

A Ringer!!

Jumping and yelling followed

A miss!!!

Serious consolations followed

Like, “Next time, better.”

Or the arched wonders

lay on the ground side-by-side

waiting to be

meticulosly measured by their masters

 

Sandwiched in between throws

was the mention of a million mundane things that

Had happened, would happen, might happen, could happen, should happen

But couldn’t

Or wouldn’t

Or shouldn’t 

Or didn’t

 

Then as the sun set

The men headed home

Hanging up their shoes in the garage for tomorrow

 

But then one day

tomorrow never came

Instead TV came

And that was the death of horseshoes.

 


© Copyright 2017 curtis peter van gorder. All rights reserved.

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