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131st Weekly Poetry Contest winner: Hand Tools

by Che Sara Sara


My father’s tools hung on pegboard

in the basement, each in its place:

crosscut saw and coping saw,

plane, pliers, wrenches, hammers,

chisels, rasp, and a harmonica

of translucent yellow screwdrivers

beside the red hand drill. With these,

he put up closet rods, built shelves,

and fixed the house.


He was meticulous.

No job was done

until the tools were put away,

and every speck of sawdust

swept into the dustpan,

dumped in the incinerator.


I was enchanted by his level,

green bubbles trapped in tubes.


When my father was at work,

I sneaked into the basement.

I tapped chalk lines across my legs and arms.

When I traced the coping saw over my palm,

I could perforate my skin without bleeding.

I aimed a drill bit over my heart

and practiced turning the handle.



First published in Hermeneutic Chaos Journal


See all the entrants to 131st Weekly Poetry Contest