Window Boxes

First the boards
Long straight strips
towering 16′ to the ceiling
of the lumbering cedar shed
Their fresh milled edges sharp
sharp as a carpenter’s knife
One face cut bowery rough
the other as smooth
as broadway legs

At the table saw
The measured pencil
marks for 12 simple cuts
7 foursquare and 5 beveled
The fine dust flying like a ball
of mosquitoes on a trout lake
dust deliciously scented
as solomon’s tunic
bathsheba’s skin

Then the screws
driven carefully so as
not to split the soft grain
The tender squeaks of tight
flesh yielding to hardened steel
the screws finished by hand
until the faces are flush
I could build my coffin
like a window box

“Anything I can sing, I call a song.
Anything I can’t sing, I call a poem.”

~ Bob Dylan


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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4 Responses to Window Boxes

  1. Ha!!!!! So very good….love the sawdust and mosquitoes. I was worried it would be a “Mans” Poem :D


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