When I loaded the tools
into the back of the car,
the shovels’ polished handles
and sharpened blades,
the rakes, splayed with caught branches,
spading forks, long and short-handled,
(yours was the long one),
I did not grieve.
Even at the unloading,
the receiver would have no idea
of the cords of wood split and stacked.
These were simply tools, mauls, axes, wedges,
not symbols of someone’s life.
I think about my grandfather, the blacksmith,
how, at the final sale and dispersal
by the executor and auctioneer,
no one there could fathom the finality of
the life, the skill, the personality
radiating from his tools.
I stand in the ford,
gravel quiet beneath my feet,
water surging around my shins.
Over the centuries
the river run has worn the rocks
smooth, removing imperfections,
softening edges, creating forms.
Just behind the larger boulders,
the water turns milky, then clear,
losing its pearlescence as it returns to itself.
Afternoon light sparkles brightly
as waters surge