Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

What Strength

Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

What Strength

Article excerpt

-In memory of my father Paul Thrasher (1929-2012), TSgt USAF

My father's foot atop a shovel blade

Could force frozen ground apart

In one step. Turf twisted round and

Splintered with ice lay stacked like

Cannonballs after minutes of work.

In wet seasons commanding even

Water he tiered creek-bed with

Pipe, rock, and clay: a ladder

Salmon would climb-into bed

With each other. (He made salmon

Easy catches, easy to catch.)

Extending his forearm slippery

With sweat after a day of tearing

Bramble from disused corridors

Of golf course, I pulled my five year-old

Body up and up. He never bent under

My weight. We used to call his thumb

And index finger "the wrench," which

Doubled as his name: "Get 'The Wrench'

In here," and he screwed U-pipes

Under sinks so tight my fine hands

Could not budge the seal. …

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