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The first poem and image from “A Carpenter’s Songs” (83pages)

Framing Hammer

It has an incredibly long leg,
that curves like a well-shaped calf, and
the gray metal head
that announces itself,
"I'm a hammer..."
It is the only thing I've met
that's completely honest.

It has no real loyalty.
It will hit pine for no good reason,
or you,
and it doesn't apologize.
It never has to explain what it is,
or what it does.

Over time and many swings,
the handle gets smoother,
the head wears down.
If anything,
it's strong,
more proud.

When the handle breaks off
is the only time you feel sorry for it.
The dumb steel head,
sitting there
And that hole through the middle is heartbreaking.
Where it used to be joined to the wood,
to something that was alive,
where someone that is alive could hold it,
need it,
want it...

Long baths, talcum powder,
love letters,
it could care less.
It tells you one thing
and that is when you pick it up and hold it,
you better know what you're doing.