My granddad ploughed a straight furrow through life,
Walking behind his horse, looking ahead, holding steady.
He accepted what he had, rooted himself in his community
And never wondered what might have been.
It was enough.
My granddad made no show of compassion,
His feelings were made real by what he did.
Those who he loved were never told so in words,
It was shown in his every action, his every thought.
Nothing more was needed.
My granddad was a strong, hard man, a man to fear.
Long days in the fields and the cold, solid ground of winter
Held no fears for someone who had faced the horrors of the Somme,
Protected his fearful horses and returned to do what he had always done.
Fools were not suffered gladly.
My granddad thought of the future and prepared the ground
For his family to thrive after he was gone.
I was “the only one he had”, a single grandchild,
A small girl from another world who understood his joys.
I was as “ ‘oss mad” as he was.
My granddad coloured in my life beside me as I looked and wondered.
I rode in front of him on his bicycle, in my own tiny seat,
As he showed me his world and laughed at my pointing.
He called me mate. I was his joy, his fascination,
His second in command.
I followed him around each day, played in his sheds,
Fed his ferret, tilled my own small patch of ground.
He built things for me, showed me how to do things,
Stood me on my own two feet and steadied me when I trembled.
Finally he saw me run.