A skill set handed down from Walter to Walter to Walter. Serving at the wooden altar of a carpenter’s devotion. Wood became the medium of this young boy’s wishes; I would dismiss everything else. An “apprentice” at an early age, the stage was set to be adept with tools. And my father had rules. Goggle for safety, guards in place. Keep your face out of the line of the blade. Be sure every cut made was the first and only. By dictate, “measure twice, cut once”. And there were a bunch more. I began with an apron full of 8d nails, handing each up to the man I looked up to! I Learned to measure with precision, a decision that made Dad nervous at first. (He would sometimes curse if I misfired) But the desired effect came eventually. When I mastered his table saw, his raw sidekick knew carpentry.

In time my focus had shifted from woods to words. Expression in a new medium, had a large impact on me. I could build much like Dad had taught. I did not get caught unprepared. Words shared in poetic pursuit and me more astute to appreciate what he did and the lessons they offered. And each phrase proffered was measured and precise. It was nice to have all these “tools” and inspirations from which to choose in this new endeavor. Inherited from the Master Carpenter, a desire always mired in trees; from carpentry to poetry, I have found my comfort zone, my own place. His memory still soothes me. It puts a smile on my face.

All of life’s lessons
Take root in the family,
Branches of the tree

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016
Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2016 – Day 5: “Experience/Inexperience”


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