Before his death, I guess I thought that they sprang,
from his brow.
Wooden, things, all of them.
A wooden ball inside a wooden cage.
Primitive zoo animals, occasional dolls’ furniture,
but most of all spoons.
An army of them, oversized. Given freely and frequently.
Most of us ran out of things to do with them.
When we found ourselves in the basement.
After that hard, hot day of burying him.
They surprised me, sitting as they were
in a plastic, clear tub.
Half a dozen spoons in varying stages of completion.
They looked like things that were growing out of the blocks they’d once been
Realizing their destinies and clarifying there nature.
They sat atop an old book with carving designs, plans, and blue prints.
The cover was fraying and the pages, they were slipping out of it.
And there were these implements.
Sinister-looking things, almost. But also basic, somehow.
He was the sort-of man who most likely bought a cheapish set at K-mart.
When we found ourself in the basement
that in some sense was no longer his
and saw the tub sitting there,
my little boy asked if we could take that home.
It is sometime later.
And we are here.
With the spoons, half carved.
With the book. The pages are falling out.
and strange knives, sanders, and blades.
There was a time that we could have asked him to show us how to do this.
But now it is just my boy and I. Sitting on the bench hunched over.
It is not long before I abondon this conceit I entertained:
I had relished the symbolism of it all.
Spoons that he began and we completed…
They would have been a sort-of icon.
Standing in for the ways that legacies might carry across the generations.
But as we ruined those spoons that he’d begun…
I can not avoid the other implications
of what it is that we have done.