Morning Poem, May 8, 2015

My grandfather’s shop was in the long shed behind his farmhouse.

Spacious and airy

It smelled always of sawdust and penetrating oil.

There were always unfinished projects on the broad tables there

Pieces of turned maple or walnut

Meant to become salad bowls or stair ballisters

But abandoned for the time being

For more urgent jobs


There were racks of dowel-rods

Stacks of two by fours

Sheets of plywood

Jars of nails and screws

A barrell-full of saw-ends

and a hundred hand tools


This place was his joy and fulfillment

Where time stopped for him

Warm in the winter and cool in the summer.


When he passed my father and uncles straightened the place up

With everything right where it belonged it looked like a museum

And the end of an age


A month before he died, we brought him back to the farm from the facility

To attend a funeral

He didn’t go into the house

But unlocked the door to his shop

And stood on the stone step outside and looked in.

He stared for five minutes without a word

And then closed the door and told us he was ready to go.


Copyright 2015

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1 Response to Morning Poem, May 8, 2015

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