What I learnt in woodwork
That a spice rack makes a cradle for misery.
That you can saw for days without reaching
enlightenment. That left-handedness counts
as a curse from God. That carpentry is an art
practised by priests in overalls with a cigarette
and alcohol habit who select a wall plug
as if their whole life’s creed hangs upon it.
That a lathe may rob you of an arm.
That hewing starts with a child asleep
inside a trunk. That you can go against
the grain but the grain will always haunt you.
That you can age a severed tree
by its rings yet some moments leave you
with their smoking brand.
Jon McLeod lives in the North West of England. His poetry has appeared in the The North and The Frogmore Papers. His work also featured in a recent anthology of poetry on the theme of running.