George Lober

Like Carpentry, Like Art

Three days into tearing off the roof,
Israel, the foreman, climbs down
to ask if he can remove the tiles
along the peak. He wants to make
a roofline of only shakes that
he says, will look, I think,
much better. He wants this
even though it will add to his work,
and even though an hour later
he will tell me over lunch
how, after eleven years, roofing
has grown old, and he hopes
someday instead to make
things with his hands,
like maybe carpentry or art.
And I think of my brother
who tears out bathrooms
and reseats toilets for a living
and takes his breaking body
home each night to a garage
where he turns the wood
for bowls or pens or trophies
because he needs to hold
something smooth of wood
in his hands and run the grain
of it across his skin as one thing
he has made from the day
for art. And I then think
of me and maybe you tearing
through our days in the making
of this life, only to come
home each night and wish
for one thing we could touch
that would say to us, You made this
from your time today, one thing
that would fill us with a moment
of beauty, however basic,
along with a sense of purpose
or maybe even peace, like art.

Porter Gulch Review, 2014

George Lober

Books by George Lober