Father's Hammer
by John P. Kristofco

I still have it, that ancient tool
I first saw sixty years ago
(already smooth and old),
face and claw blackened from the soot, sweat,
agent of your artless work,
reluctant project Saturdays
when you'd rather sit in quiet on the porch,
thoughts of what once was,
might have been,
the meadow up the hill when you were ten
playing doubles with a taped-up ball
and bats you made from maples in the woods,
your truest craft
in rugged faith of nothing given,
nothing asked,
when every breath was pounded out
to build a life
in rhythm to an ancient mantel clock
given to a heart and every step it took
until the limp of futile restoration
grew too great
and could not fool our witness any more

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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