Today's poem is by Bob Hicok

The life-and-death world of carpentry

So much sawdust on my glasses, I stare at the wind

with the eyes of a cedar, one I cut down when it grew
too tall and took the far field away from me
where I want to be a horse, severed it into boards
for a dresser I dragged to the spot where the tree

had thrived and said to myself, can you imagine
being as innocent as water, drawers full of rain
and rusted keys on top from cars I never owned, collected
from the mechanic whose son died last winter, two years old

and wandered to the river, the ice gave, then sealed
like a window above the open question of his mouth,
there was already a rocker from an oak that also
got in the way of my vision, I will populate these woods

with an absence of woods if someone doesn't stop me,
a sleigh bed sleep-deep in snow, a bassinet
full of crows, I have wanted to drag my wrist
across the scream of the table saw

for no other reason than I could, there I'd be,
different, evolved, a self-made thing
for the first time in my life, I am afraid
you formed the world for the same reason, Lord,

can you imagine something as dangerous
as desire: language, I guess, that cuts one thing
from another and breeds the distemper
of comparison, a man looking at the crooked horizon

and thinking, I could do better

Copyright © 2014 Bob Hicok All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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