My Father’s Garage
On Christmas Night
Back after all these years and older,
The silence better, more like
Friendship, two neighbors
Rooting for the same team.
Rafters are filled with the detritus
Of mutual lives: a tent we used
For camping at the lake, a punching bag
No one hits now, my sister’s furniture.
And your workbench is piled higher.
Than ever with a hundred
Accomplished or forgotten
Repairs and adjustments,
Power sander and soldering iron askew,
A wood box filled with broken things
Waiting to be renewed.

This is what you ended up with.
A garage domain, a world of certain things,
Perfect fits. I don’t question it anymore.
Perhaps, half lost in worlds of ideas
And perplexions of beauty, I even envy
This yoga of wood and metal tightly joined,
Of things held down by nuts and bolts.

Admiring this platter you once fashioned,
Quail in flight on smoky plastic, I praise
It perhaps too much, or awkwardly, meaning
A hundred other appreciations left unspoken,
Meaning to say you weren’t what I thought,
That you never understood the anger
Of your sons, the drugs, the grasping
For roads. America has nothing
      to do with this.
There’s just the two of us, looking
More alike than we realize, feeling
What we don’t know how to say.