Earlier this fall, Donna Glee Williams taught a writing class at the Folk School: “Write What You Don’t Know.” In the class, students took inspiration from life at the Folk School to find prompts for writing stories, pushing past the boundaries of their own experiences. Don M. Benson, Sr., a student in the class, shared the following story he wrote, taking inspiration from the craft of Blacksmithing. Enjoy his story below!


The Blacksmith’s Wife

by Don M. Benson, Sr.

He came to bed a happy man.

It was well past midnight but he was happy. He hadn’t been happy for at months or maybe years. But tonight, in bib overalls covered with soot and smelling like the smoke that poured from the forge he nurtured, he was a happy man. He labored all day and half the night heating strong members till they glowed a perfect orange. He pounded and twisted and molded them into shapes pictured in his imagination. The project was almost complete, a six foot, ornately sculpted, one of a kind hall tree, none other like it in the universe.

He was a happy man.

Very much unlike the man he was back home, with his hair coiffed to perfection, a custom tailored suit, a stiff Egyptian cotton shirt, silk tie with matching braces and shoes shined to glossy perfection. Back home he labored all day and half the night in the glow of computer screens or the florescent flickers of conference rooms. He nurtured mentees and supported colleagues as he strove to craft a perfect deal, the deal that would benefit the firm and the client, all while his mentees and colleagues plotted his demise.

But here, at the Folk School, for a few hours or maybe a few days, he was a happy man.

And I was a happy woman.

Cory Marie Podielski
About Cory Marie Podielski

Cory Marie Podielski is a freelance graphic designer, photographer, and writer for the John C. Campbell Folk School. She has been writing for the Folk School Blog since 2012 and enjoys interviewing artists, musicians, and craftspeople. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the banjo, dancing, printmaking, playing in clay, and assisting in Folk School bread baking classes. podielski.com