Breaking Point

Pa, I see you in your shed--
unaware of dusk settling
over your garden, painting
pink crabapple blossoms
grey. I see you bend, squint
at some small imperfection
marring the wooden soldier
you've spent the day carving,
hands slow-dancing to a tune
no-one else can hear. Later
Ma will shake her head, dismiss 
your need for perfect contours
and smooth edges -- 
not understanding, a soldier 
or a man is only as strong
as his weakest part.