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John Smith Have Bought A Horse

“John Smith have bought a horse of mr. Richard Woodhull, beeing about 2 yeres ould, a dark bay, with a smaele streke in the fore hed now delivered to the sayed John Smith, and in consideration of the same, the sayed John Smith doth ingaeg to weve all mr. Odell’s (sic) yarn into cloth tell the sayed pay is out, the sayed John is to have a fort-niete notis before hand of ech pece, and to weve it as cheap as he doe for others.  27 day June, 1670.”


    Here in the green welling days
             of a new spring blossoming and blooming
    and bursting forth in a new world,
    here in a time tailor-made for a man
    with a gypsy heart and a new bay mare,
    here, in an equestrian Eden
    where every glade and meadow calls
    to saddle up and ride free…
    here sits John Smith, shop-bound weaver
     in his season of desolation and despair.

    Through the small window of his shop
    he sees his graceful brown mare
    frolic on the lawn, tries not to notice
    the lengthening days spent weaving
    the costly cloth from easy yarn.

    Though he thought to purchase
    simple pleasures, his best days are woven
    to heavy duties and vague regrets.
    But, in the green paddocks of his heart
    always the sleek brown mare
    prancing on the sweet June turf.

Richard G. Beyer  (formerly of Bellport and Brookhaven)
Presented with the permission of the author (01-09-2003)

Originally published in “Voices International,” Vol. 24, Num. 1, Spring, 1989