© Arthur Green

Winner – 2010 Boyup Brook Country Music Festival Bush Poetry Competition, Boyup Brook WA.

‘Himself’s’ paddock’s now empty, and so will remain,
for no horse can replace my old Bay,
and though years have now passed, I can still feel the pain,
that I felt, like a knife, that last day.

It was love at first sight on the day we first met.
There was no doubt at all on my part.
That one moment in time that I’ll never forget,
when ‘Himself’, with one look, stole my heart.

Every morning, I’d feed him and groom him with care,
`till his coat gleamed like gold in the sun,
while I whispered my dreams (just the two of us there),
in his paddock on Rafferty’s Run.

How we’d fly when he ran, with the wind in his mane,
like a bird of prey, freed from its hood.
To recapture those soul-stirring days once again,
I’d give all I have now if I could.

But then time caught us up, though the years seemed so few,
and the Vet did his best to explain.
“`Fraid it’s simply old age – not much more I can do –
be far kinder to spare him more pain.”

“Help him, God!” How I pleaded and prayed for my horse,
as I shrank from what had to be done,
but I knew ‘Himself’s’ life had at last run its course,
in his paddock on Rafferty’s Run.

Came the day that we chose, I spent hours by his side –
just my lovely old Bay horse and me,
as I fed him and groomed him and hugged him and cried,
for a future that wasn’t to be.

I should have stayed longer, that terrible day.
He could tell I was saying goodbye,
as he farewelled me too, with one last gentle neigh,
and a look of reproach in his eye.

In a well-shaded spot, where the Currawongs sing,
while I made myself scarce `till they’d done,
he now rests, free from torments that old age can bring,
in his paddock on Rafferty’s Run.

And it’s there, just on dusk, while I shed a few tears,
that the ghost of ‘Himself’ lingers still,
and we fly, once again, through those wonderful years,
as ‘Himself’ … always had … always will.

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