Monday, February 28, 2011

traveling tinker

It's early Friday morning,
and we sit quiet at breakfast together,
when from far down the street we hear his cry.

The cry is distinctive, definitely not a sweet corn vendor,
nor another collector of recyclables.
Mark recognizes it first.
It's the cry of the traveling tinker;

the man with the portable,
pedaled whetstone slung over his shoulder,
crying out his trade.

Though we don't understand his words,
I can imagine how it must go...

'sharp as new! sharp blades for old;
sharp knives today!'

I watch his hands as the sparks fly,
sure and steady,

and then his face,
calm, full of dignity in his occupation.

The tools of his trade are few and simple;

and we aren't the only ones enthralled by his skill.
A gentleman walking by stopped to watch, too.

He deftly checks the blade.
Then accepts his payment with a nod,
asking only about 75 cents for 3 sharp blades.

He turns on his way down the road,
whetstone slung over his shoulder
calling out loud and clear...

'sharp as new! sharp blades for old;
sharp knives today!'

If the iron is blunt,
and one does not sharpen the edge,
he must use more strength,
but wisdom helps one to succeed.

Ecclesiastes 10:10


thechurchcook said...

What a great service he provides!! It's not that inexpensive here to get knives sharpened for sure. :)

Judy said...

Maybe next time you could offer him a new t-shirt to sharpen your knives?

us5 said...

it's an idea, Judy, but he has such dignity, i think i would be careful to protect that. this might just be his designated work-shirt. besides, he could probably buy a shirt for himself for 10-25 cents!