Woodworker’s Hands

There is a woman who occupies a garage

At the end of my alley

Whose yawning, open door I drive past daily

Where I see her woodworking


Sanding, sawing, sharpening

Her days, I imagine

Clouded by the chalky dust

That can only come from making decisions


The kind that

Coats your throat

Makes it hard to breathe

Yet smells like summer mornings.


The kind that is seen best


Filtered through sunlight

Settled on the back of a breeze

Exposing what lies beneath


Her days, made

Of sanding to make smooth

Of sawing away what’s not needed

Of sharpening what allows her to rid herself

Of the things that make it heavier


Each cut, permanent


In a way that

Drunken poetry

Edited with morning’s coffee



I wish I had those hands

I wish I knew that

The cuts I make

Are better shaping
What it was

I thought that I was creating.


Oh, how different we’d be

If we all saw our days’ purpose as building.


If the verdict of our decisions

Held the weight of

Scraps of wood

Thunking to the floor


If she knew that end of my days are


Looking for her hands

Looking for proof


That there are builders out there

Who make cuts towards a penultimate better

Instead of making cuts

Simply because

They have a saw in their hands.



Image courtesy of Shaker Road, Flickr Creative Commons


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