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He says one day I can have it all:
the house with the paid mortgage,
the lawn with the carefully trimmed hedges,
the business and the trucks and the lungs
full of wood dust.

Under his wing, he shows me the finer points
of woodwork; coaching me on the inherent
crookedness of walls, teaching me to trust
my eyes more than the tape measure.

These days he knows I've been waking up hungry,
yearning for the kind of life where I can rise
with the sun and put in my penance — a day's worth
of hard work that will scar these silk-soft hands.

The same hands of my father that I saw as a child
pointing to something I needed to notice,
that familiar bend in his index
where the table saw wouldn't give
even an inch, leading my eyes.

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