Ode to my Father’s Knee

photo 225You bore the weight of loss

upon your body

from a young age;

your little knees

torn and scratched from playing footballphoto 237

on the gravel ground,

bled the pain and carried the scars

of your mother’s life –

gone, at such a young age.

Your father carried you as best he could

dressing you each day in your school uniform:

knee high Campbell tartan socks,

khaki shorts, plaid tie,

button down shirt with grey corduroy jacket.

Your grandmother doted upon you,

missing her dear girl,

tempting you with sweets, caramels and toffee

from her candy shop on the corner of McLellan and Tyne.

Your knees bore your body as you grew,

surgeries after rough football matches,

twists and tendons breaking

as you attempted to glide down the slopes of the mountain

landing in a heap,

wet, sad

and in pain.

And yet,

your knees recovered softly and gently

bumping me up and down to the melody,

‘You take the high road and I’ll take the low road,

and I’ll be in Scotland a’fore ye,’photo 235

I remember your knees:

ragged and gnarled,

rough and smooth,

worn and tired from the journey,

yet never giving up.

photo 232I watched with glee as you went down

upon your knee,

your grandson, Nate, riding high upon your back.

‘Giddyup Shenner, giddyup,

faster, faster you slow horse!’

The sparkle of joy;photo 234

a smile across your face

as you glanced up at me,

and I knew healing had come to your knees.

photo 227In loving memory of my Dad, James (Jimmy) C. Heaney. Oct. 8, 1932 – Feb. 23, 2007photo 231

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