One with the patience to measure the countless millimetres
between here and eternity; his father taught him to measure twice,
cut once. He would joke around the workshop that he had come
to bring not peace, but a saw; brandishing, brash and loud,
and honestly, a wee bit scary. Unless
the child was present. Then he would whip out his knife,
whittle a small bird whistle, smoothing it with the callouses
of his sandpaper palm, testing it with his tongue, so intent
on creating joy, he did not even know that he had fallen
silent; the world around him held his breath between its teeth.
A carpenter who hated hammers; he would always bruise his nail
and sit sucking his thumb like a baby, which is how his mother
prefers to remember him.
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A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing, by Rosalind C Hughes, is available from Upper Room Books.https://bookstore.upperroom.org/Products/1921/a-family-like-mine.aspx