That winter, dark came early.
I remember halfway home
the leaves that murmured

in a red glow in the gutter,
the cold

whirring of the tablesaw
in the garage, my father
bent over frozen lumber

While the sun rays slanted
like ramps of yellow glass
up to the roof,

I was on my knees
piling the shavings,
gathering nails

and marbles of pine sap.
When he was done, high
on his shoulder
I went flying,

my ear brushing
the fluorescent lamp

that hummed against the rafters.
Into the warm house,
into the bright kitchen we went

where the smell of doughnuts
hung from the ceiling.

:: Arthur Smith, in Brother Songs: A Male Anthology of Poetry (1979)

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