V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





My grandfather comes down
into the woodshop and stands.

His hands convey an absence.
There are ten thousand things
here that you might want, Papa.
We look through thirty drawers.
The bottom ones will not open
under the weight of everything.
He knows what he cannot say
nests ready to hand somewhere.

I stir sawdust with a nub broom.
Saw blades lie broken or burned
like pick-up-sticks on the floor.
The main pieces are cut out now.
I sort oak scraps on the counter,
line up the grain of what remains.
A blade takes more than its width,
so what I have made does not fit.
Papa finds pliant copper wire,
then holds a shape flaming in light.

© by Joel McCollough

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