Thursday, April 22, 2010
April 8, 2010 My Father's Nail Set
"For today's prompt, pick a tool, make that the title of your poem, and write your poem."
My Father’s Nail Set
I have my father’s nail set.
Made of cast steel,
Its patterned gripping surface
Has been worn through the decades,
Giving a familiar firm home to fingers that grasp it.
The flat point is somewhat rounded and smooth now
And it sets a nail with absolute perfection;
No sliding, no drifting to mar a perfect surface.
My father gifted me this nail set when I was a carpenter,
Taking it from a vast collection in his basement shop
That smelled like must, dust, pipe smoke and crankcase oil.
He gave me a hammer, too and some other tools,
But it is the nail set that I treasure.
He had many nail sets but this one, this one was his best, he said.
It was made for fine-work and he expected me to use it well.
I learned to set a nail in place, a nail that had been pounded
Into a surface, with just a smidgen poking up…
To be gently tapped firm,
Made pretty with a fingertip of putty;