A Carpenter

“A carpenter? Oh, like Jesus” a man remarks after examining my hands.
I join in his assessment, “not really” I remark as I leave the vendor.
I walk passed those pendling their wares, clutching my transparent bag of greased food, and begin to wonder about Jesus. His hands,
like mine, rough covered in scratches and scars, splinters
perpetually catching on the tiniest imperfections. Hands like these
laid on the blind, crippled, recently deceased returning them
to perfection, yet the instrument is far from it.
It doesn’t seem fitting, but the labor,
the back breaking that goes into construction must have helped,
prepared him for his final walk. Perhaps it is fitting
that he shared my profession, one where imperfections
in the material must be found and used as an advantage.
In the lines and knots, staring out being released
with dust and sap, he too saw the imperfect perfections
that can be not manufactured but must be worked
out by rough, worn hands. Hands that have seen the eyes
of the divine gazing back in the wood.

Writing is not something I often sit down with the plan of “I am going to write something today”. Rather it comes at random times, usually when I am doing a mundane task. The other day I was cutting sheet after sheet of masonite down into 3 inch strips and this poem began to form in my head from that and the opening quote of the poem which a coworker had said while retelling a story of his encounter with a hand cream salesman.


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