They have vanished, the pop men with their varnished crates
Of Tizer and dandy, American ice-cream soda and one percent shandy.
The clunk of frothy quarts dumped on donkey-stoned doorsteps
Is heard no more, nor the neighs of restless mares between the shafts.
The shining brass of harness hangs in bar-rooms or droops
From imitation beams.
Gelded stallions no longer chomp and champ
In stalls beneath the slats of shadowed lofts with straw-bales
And hay-ricks as high as houses lazing in lantern light.
The ashes of the carts they pulled have smouldered into silence,
The clatter over cobbles of iron shoes and shouts of “Whoa, lass!”
Hushed in this last weariness.
~ A MEMORY AT SIXTY –