Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Knots and Pearls

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Knots and Pearls

Article excerpt

There's only one thing to say,

though you've worn it out

over these last thirty years.

Again you say, in his own garage:

Good grief, Daddy, another tool box.

Memories sharp as shrapnel

slice away the years:

you are a spider striving

with winds that strip off the dew diamonds,

shred the web that was itself woven

of instinct like to the genes

that fitted your hands

to the worn wooden handles

of iron wrenches made for Model Ts

rusted to dust half a century past

or pocket knives with scrimshaw

rubbed to dim shadows,

blades honed to slender crescents,

or cherrywood block planes that have shaved

chair legs, coffins, flutes and guitar necks.

Tools emerge from linen shrouds,

scented with tung oil,

tied with his singular knot,

and you believe this is your last chance

to unravel this perpetual

mystery of childhood-but

you weren't expecting

the tool box effect this time

because now it's your mother's dresser

you are emptying and the treasures

are merely the familiar

bracelets and brooches,

watches and dangerously

thin rings-until you reach the faux pearls,

Jackies triple-strand pearls, recalling

Camelot, long laid away

on rich black velvet,

now yellowed, knobby, flaking,

fragile as your mothers voice asking

over and over; now, who are you? …

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