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Saturday, April 5, 2008

old carpenter (haibun)

Old Carpenter

blue sky
the carpenter makes
a perfect cut

My father always told me to “work with your head, not your hands” and sure enough I became an academic. He didn't mean to demean those who were earning honest livings by honing their skills. We both admired the carpenters, painters and general handymen I see working in the neighborhood during long spring walks.

old carpenter
a few teeth missing
from his saw

Recent high winds have blown down many fence sections so carpenters are everywhere, usually in beat-up, rusted pickup trucks stuffed seemingly with every possible tool and supply item. They are always old—well they look old anyway—but always managing, like that one with a spring in his step between limps.

lifting the hammer
the old carpenter’s hand
stops shaking

w. f. owen

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