Carving a bow for my son, who wantsa weapon to terrorize squirrels
and deliver the world, I snag the blade,
fumble the whittle stroke and slice my finger.
The cut oozes. My hand is sturdy,
scarred, nothing like my father’s—
His hands stitched gashes without a flinch.
They mortared rock walls to hold a hillside up.
On the violin, his fingers flew like wingtips.
Once as a child I saw sparks spray
from that smoking bow. He tried to teach
my hands how to drive a nail straight,
which spans would bear a load
and which would snap, how to follow
the grain of things, how to hear notes first,
then pluck them as if out of a peach tree.
A single feather in his hair, my son stalks
the squirrel, holds the bow steady,
draws back the shaft, aims, lets fly.
Target and archer are unruffled by the miss.
He bounds over to the arrow, takes it
in his nimble fingers, so like his father’s
father’s, and nocks the end,
eager to aim, miss and aim again.
Again trying to expand my horizons through poetry. I love the image of the hands and how they fix their children’s world. I also like the buoyancy of the last verse, such an excellent way to describe the optimism of youth. Goodreads does have some very good picks each month. They also run a contest to pick these poems, so here is how to submit yours if you want!
Want your words to reach millions of people? Goodreads and the ¡POETRY! group have partnered to host an ongoing poetry contest. Join the ¡POETRY!group and vote each month to pick a winner from among the finalists. You can also submit a poem for consideration–Goodreads