Old man with calloused hands

An old man with calloused hands …

As old as time with calloused hands
the native Abenaki  written deep in the creases of his face
he’d never spoke much about his heritage
nowadays though  gone without a trace

He sat across from me at the dining table with the
shaking hands of age he lit one of his cigarettes
Just as I was thinking oh no , here comes another story
He said ” You know son I have so many regrets ”

‘Uncle Newt ‘ turned 90 years old that autumn and
almost as spry as a young man that day
He’d lost his wife a dozen few years before that
I held on knowing he had something he’d wanted to say

The smoke curled up around his face and rose to the
lantern into that old farm house loft
And his voice took on a little tremmer I’d never heard
He said I sure do miss my Maggie and in a voice just as soft

He began to hum an old waltzing tune
I could not ever have guessed the name
It didn’t matter at all though which song he’d chosen
I could feel his aching loneliness just the same

Newt told me of his heart that evening as the geese sounded
high up and far away
When he finished talking I said not one single word
what could one as young as I ever say

——————————————————

Newt  was my uncle, a native American Abenaki.  In reality he was my cousin by marriage as he had married my oldest cousin.  We had always called him uncle Newt and her aunt Maggie because of the widespread of ages in our family.  Newt made a good living for years and years carrying on old native American traditions between regular jobs.  He made brown ash basket making, ash snowshoes, baby cradles, carving and tool making – anything that involved  an age old tradition of  native American crafts  leading up to the 1980’s and 90’s.  Newt would charge  $ 200 – 300 even 400 dollars for a large laundry style brown ash basket. He was extremely talented with his arts and some of his work even today exists within the Smithsonian Institute and Museum in Washington DC.  What I miss though were his stories that he would share about hunting, fishing and  just plain living.

For Newt and Maggie .

EdF

Sometime in my life, I started to write about my life journey, in poetry, in story perhaps to sort them out and enter them into a place of safekeeping. The soul of the writer is perhaps best described in their words, emotions and thoughts. If these poems or stories touch something inside you then maybe I have succeeded in sharing. I will not write about my self in profile, because self isn't so important in writing. Only the journey in words and the sharing are important. Why would weever say " Now about me !"........I'd rather write about life, nature, serenity ........

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EdF

Sometime in my life, I started to write about my life journey, in poetry, in story perhaps to sort them out and enter them into a place of safekeeping. The soul of the writer is perhaps best described in their words, emotions and thoughts. If these poems or stories touch something inside you then maybe I have succeeded in sharing. I will not write about my self in profile, because self isn't so important in writing. Only the journey in words and the sharing are important. Why would we ever say " Now about me !"........I'd rather write about life, nature, serenity ........

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