In celebration of fathers everywhere, from the boardroom to the barbecue, from Iraq to Iowa, and especially my own dad, the career Marine-Vietnam vet-oilfield snubber-bicycle repairman-set designer-children's book author-photographer-tinkerer-great cook-world traveller Art Holman, here's one of my very favorite poems about fathers:
by Bruce Weigl
When he was my age and I was already a boy
my father made a machine in the garage.
A wired piece of steel
with many small and beautiful welds
ground so smooth they resembled rows of pearls.
He went broke with whatever it was.
He held it so carefully in his arms.
He carried it foundry to foundry.
I think it was his harp,
I think it was what he longed to make
with his hands for the world.
He moved it finally from the locked closet
to the bedroom
to the garage again
where he hung it on the wall
until I climbed and pulled it down
and rubbed it clean
and tried to make it work.
--Bruce Weigl, from Archeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems
photo credit: mary cabbie