The Whittlers Poem by Jackson

He leans forward,

there was a time, sonny

when I saw old men whittling
at the courthouse
sitting there on benches these men
were in overalls and wore
wool hats stained
from the sweat of
days spent in the heat,
in the field,
old grey wool hats
stained with work.
They whittled, these old men
and spat tobacco juice
on the courthouse steps
and sometimes they grabbed
their stubble’d chin
and waved a skinny finger
as they made a point about
“them this”
and “them that”
but mostly it was the weather
and the outlook for the weather
and how they could work no more
and they whittled at the courthouse
and could be seen on Saturday,

our day in town.

I can sometimes see those
old farmers
spitting tobacco juice,


and one of them looks
not quite at me but

“Is that your boy?”



by david michael jackson