Sounds of Distant Drums

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MASTER JACK

Master Jack was old and grey; time had passed him by,
Wizened hands betrayed his age, but a glint lay in his eye;
Physique so very frail now, had fought a thousand ‘wars’,
Waiting now upon God’s will; Jack’s life had lost its cause.

The souls of those who’d mattered; were now long in their graves,
Fond memories of times gone by, crashed over him in waves.
His children had all forsaken him; forsaken him, every one;
Embarrassed by his manner, and the sharpness of his tongue,

Tears fell upon his trembling hands, as he gazed on them with love,
These hands had been God’s gift to him, from heaven up above;
Hands that blessed the Lord almighty; gave thanks for all their food,
Those hands had even built their home, beside the forest wood.

Hands carved their wooden furniture; and planted crops to sell,
When drought had struck the barren land, they dug for him a well,
Skilled hands had caught his children, emerging from the womb.
Seven boys, and three small girls; now adults in full bloom.

Gnarled hands from manual labor, digits enflamed and sore,
Busy hands made impotent; were functioning no more,
Spastic hands, arthritic hands; worked now ‘to the bone’,
Not one soul to help him farm; Master Jack prayed all alone.

“My Lord I have to thank you, for these two hands of mine,
The countless tasks accomplished, through your two gifts Divine”,
Calloused hands now pressed in prayer; “I wish new turf to roam”,
Soulful eyes glinted heavenward, “Please Lord… take me home”

Alf Hutchison

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