I know a plain-spoken man
who can fashion a tool
on his anvil
for a job that needs to get done.
He greets me warmly
every time I drop by,
puts his hammer down,
wipes his hands with a rag.
The record of his life
to fingertips—in scars
like the runes
of a dead language
engraved on stone tablets
to record the laws
She’s getting into a battered car
with boy and suitcase after calm
years with the farrier and school,
few murmured words at meals.
He stows the old Martin guitar
in the back seat, his parting gift,
stands by—taking the hammer
and fire—in the street, bending.
Hazel’s come to trust me a little.
She’ll jump from the truck, press
her nose to the back of my hand,
tail cautious—nobody’s fool.
Richard Jarrette is the author of Beso the Donkey (MSU Press 2010) Gold Medal Poetry 2011 MIPA and A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dances (Green Writers Press 2015). He is co-translator of The Tune Poems of Su Dong Po with Yun Wang who translated Beso into Chinese and Poetry Columnist for CASA Magazine of Santa Barbara. He has written for stage and screen and a new mixed genre poetry cycle is in progress—The Beatitudes of Ekaterina. Jarrette lives semi reclusively in the hills of Central California which is in transition to arid desert.