Sunday, November 20, 2005


This poem from Verse Daily (see LINKS) is about writing for me, but also about what I’d like my husband to have – space – to build with wood; sort washers, nuts, bolts in baby food jars; find solitude.

Al Maginnes

Given enough space, each man believes

he could raise cathedrals, construct

furniture whose nails would outlive

six generations, so he stakes

claim to some part of the basement,

a corner of the garage, even

a small building divided from

the hothouse of family noise

where most of his life is rooted.

There, he might stand amid

drafty fumes of gasoline, sawed wood,

and the smell that, thick as old dust,

bakes deep in the handles of tools,

combustion of sweat, sore fingers,

old solvents. Bunker of small labors,

this is where husbands repair

for the quiet beer, the unfettered cigarette

while sorting nut, bolt, washer

by size into baby food jars.

The larger tasks—lamp

that demands rewiring, table leaning

on the absence of a leg—lie

incomplete, monuments

to the ambition of self-reliance.

See how the ordered tools hang,

box wrenches and saw blades arranged

largest to smallest, orange cords

coiled tight. Brother of labor,

what comes here needing repair

is often fixed without lifting a single tool.


Blogger shann said...

enjoyed the poems and links, came over from 32 poems-

10:18 PM, November 20, 2005  
Blogger reniebob said...

great last two lines, eh? Good find. I'd like to see more from the father's perspective.

11:15 PM, November 20, 2005  

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