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WOODWORKER / Jack Barrack The tips of his craftbitten fingers Are printed with whorls of woodtime. He works within smells of incarnating air Becoming earth, and lusts For the packed milk in trees. Hands over head in an upward dive He'd sweep from roots to twigs To emerge albino-bearded, Sticky with blond nutrients, aromatic. His woodravishing fingers whine for great slabs And butcherblocks, for scrollwork, inlays, And lacquer. In the workshop, Sun smacks against handcrafted thighs of trees But all is compact against the light That sucks boards to thrush-bones. Here, the self-carved rheumatic hand Caresses a sleep of leaves Stained and varnished down to their greening rooms. When it's done it's done, finished, A hand-slam on a table With the sway of great seasons in it. The Missouri Review ยท 23 ...


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