This is one of a series of poems, written by my Grandmother, that represent a portrait of her childhood in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, places and people she loved who are, for the most part, no longer with us.
She dedicates each and every poem to her daughters, and has kindly given me permission to share them with you all, enjoy…
‘Whistling women and crowing hens,
All want their heads chopped off.’
I was informed, so many times,
By an old man who came
Each year in summer from the Channel Isles
To work for us, throughout our busy time
He was a big old man, quite rough
Who all his life had earned
A living as a labourer.
He knew he should not swear
When I was present, but of course, often
He would forget. Whistling set his teeth on edge.
I sometimes wonder what became
Of him. He was a part
Of that rich childhood that I spent
Mostly upon the land,
And I can never hear a cockerel crow,
Without a whistle pursing up my lips.
© Dorothy Davis-Sellick 1998 onwards