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In the Woodwork

Poetry By: Ousma

A poem for my father about his presence in my memories, and how I've associated him over the years with different small things, such as the sound of his boots, his cough, his smell, the roughness of his hands, etc. If you like this poem, also see "Caretaker", another poem for him.

Submitted:Jan 31, 2012    Reads: 26    Comments: 5    Likes: 3   

When I go off on my own

And we are separated for a time

As I toss and turn at night, longing for home

I'll remember the sound of your boots

Thumping the porch upon your arrival

I'll remember running to the door on little feet

When I heard your cough at midnight

I knew you still lay awake, restless

But when I heard your snore

From across the house, on a different floor

Rumbling in the woodwork

I knew I could sleep easy;

You never drifted into dreams

Unless all was at peace, all was secure

I'll remember the smell of oil

Mingled with cut grass, sweat, and dirt

The scent of long hours and toil

It was always ground deep into the rough lines

Of your calloused, sandpaper hands

I know it as the fragrance

Of hard work and unbending will

I'm sure on the lonely, harsh nights

I'll soon be spending in the world of adults

I will dream of your voice now and then

How I loved just to hear you talk, again and again

I used to place my hands on the furniture

To feel your deep baritone vibrate in my palms

If I put my ear to your chest

I could imagine great pipe organs

Playing inside your lungs

No matter how far away I go

Or how long I'm gone

Your presence will remain a lingering shadow

In the recesses of my memories

You'll remain as deeply ground into my heart

As the grit and metal dust in your palms

No matter how far away I go

Or how long I'm gone

I could never forget all you've done

To help me grow my wings

But most of all,

I could never forget you.


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