He thoughtfully handled
each piece of wood â€“
soft whorled pine, hard durable oak,
tough and elastic ash â€“
to feel the heft, the surface satin,
finesse or grit of grain,
fitting each one to its use,
a bookcase, desk, a set of blocks.
A frugal man and scarce of words,
he carefully cut each board
exact to measure,
with special attention
to grooves and notches,
the beveled joints
that would dovetail together
in strict harmony.
As he created these simple things
my father's quiet considered ways
in enduring lines of eloquence.