October's Child

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 THE WHITTLER,  SPOKE NOT




He sat whittling secrets from yesterday's wood
On his shadowed porch where the oak tree stood
The cold rain drizzled, a brooding murky sky
His eyes were blank, his spirit bone dry
A bottle of rye whiskey, nightmares that cry



Since that long ago evening he'd remained aloof
The rain played the blues on the cabin's tin roof
He pictured it clearly, heard the town folk talk
His mind had splintered, out on widow's walk
The rheumy night air, the writing in chalk



They say he deserved it; she was raped that night
She was home alone; a young girl's fight
A small knot of mourners in the frigid cold
Their black veil of secrets that had never been told
Too many shadows to unlock and unfold



Summer waves of heat, now wilting them all
They gathered around him as dusk began to fall
Tell ‘em Ol' Jim ‘bout the silver handled knife
C'mon man, tell, was she really your wife?
Why do ya whittle man, with that same old knife?

October 18, 2008








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