Sawdust and rusted hammer,
anvil and adamant nail,
long hours and an empty wallet,
these are the things my father owned.
Heartbreaks and mid-day hunger,
dog days and afternoon losses,
unshut eyes and late-night balms,
these are the things my father knew.
This is what I remember:
the steam of coffee in the mornings,
how he’d hunch over
blue in the face with laughter
over some perennial nonsense,
brown wood hands clamped over
I suspect to silence the breaking.
What’s left is this:
drunken mourners puffing smoke,
dealing cards, mad dogs yelping,
clamor of passing vehicles.
Heavy rain beats against the side street,
a lull over the breaking.