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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Legacy

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No easy task this
Cleanup of basement workbench

Full of multifarious clutter,
Dusty mementos of hand-me-downs.

The real chore is in tossing the
Handmade tools my father

Crafted as a machinist under
The final shadows of WW II

And the scraped-up pale-blue tackle box
Full of Lazy Ikes, Bombers, Jitterbugs,

River Runt Spooks, and
Hula Poppers.

A simple matter on the surface
But what’s not seen is

The slippery thought of
Letting go of steel craft and memories,

Lovingly bequeathed as if
They were brothers whose being

I’m now releasing like unwanted
Fish, letting them drop from my hands

To the trash bin below, letting them go
While I suppress a traitor’s smile,

Great Judas at the workbench, son
Who is not much more than an ingrate

Who will probably keep only the tackle box
In the end.

Stephen Anderson was the First Place winner of the Kay Saunders Memorial New Poet Award in the 2005 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Triad Contest.  His work has appeared in Southwest Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Harvests of New Millennium, Free Verse, Foundling Review, Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar (2002 & 2008), Fox Cry Review, and in other print and online publications.  His chapbook, The Silent Tango of Dreams was published by Pudding House Publications in June, 2006.  He lives with his wife in Shorewood, Wisconsin.
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