Thursday, May 26, 2011


The first tool we want from our fathers toolboxes is the hammer
It is a tool of youth, young men bashing the world to shape
We learn first to strike and smash, and then to drive nails
Leaving dents and spikes in everything, and then more occasionally building
Rambling leaning furniture, haphazard sculptures of adolescence
our work shows perhaps talent, but always enthusiasm
blemished with the touch of too much, too fast
Ragged cuts and the clinched nails of inexperience, poorly placed
and at the last turned back and driven over, where some hold fast forever
because boundless energy and small pay can earn anything, but enough time

Some of us never survive their days as inchoate men
and those who do, coming to a quieter place of ourselves
with fuller choice of tools, are held fascinated in sudden moments
by a hammer, and memory of singular approaches to the world
In those moments the wind, even in still rooms, dances our hair
and whispers the names of those we've known who will always be young


Hat said...


Reminds me of how I'd raid my dad's toolbox as a three-year-old, grab the hammer, and "help" him with the fence. Always the hammer.

On that note, croquet is a stupid and cruel farce of a game when you're a kid.

Dellani Oakes said...

Really enjoyed this. It evokes lots of memories and images. Although female, I went through my own rite of passage learning to use tools. The feelings & memories are similar.

Anonymous said...

Loving touch. Do I detect a eulogy?

Nagrom said...

Thanks for the kind words folks.

Anon - You do indeed. The dedication on this, had I shared it initially, would be for Albert 1991 - 2011. Another young man forever. I'll miss him.