© Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.
That Autumn day was a day I remember well.
I sat watching him in his silence.
Running his tired eyes over a fallen twig.
Like him, it was in need of replenishment.
I kicked the fallen leaves in my boredom.
He seemed content on the low white wall.
He censured me for stoning the chickens,
Showed me the one that laid my breakfast.
On emerging from my huff I sat beside him.
I watched as he stripped his reclaimed wood.
I threw a million annoying questions his way.
He told me I reminded him of my father.
The cockerel, awaiting my next move, glared.
I wasn’t for getting too close to him.
The old man, pale as his bone handled pen knife;
set about the craft he said his old man taught him.
He wiped the now disrobed twig on his sleeve.
The wet sap added to a multitude of existing stains.
He visited the old watch from his waistcoat.
The time noted, he busied himself in whittling.
I played his whistle yesterday, in reminiscence.
He taught me that we too will be fallen twigs some day.
That what we leave behind is important.
That our legacy will be the children we whittle.