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Elderly Craftsman at his Bench

At my worn workbench, in my bent body,
I am disturbed occasionally by an alien fantasy.
Always the same; the detail surreal and distinct:

a soft arm reaching toward me
out of nowhere,
the fingers closing and opening.

I believe now that it is an appeal
from serious efforts, like my own, reaching
unfulfilled from somewhere in the past,

and have learned to put my work to one side;
to relax; and think my way back
into the depths beyond their origin;

appealing to their source to call them back.
Tell them there is no peace here.
And comfort them on their return.

This restores a serviceable calm,
so that I can attend to my work again.
Hoping there will be a like thoughtfulness
for me and my concerns when the time comes.

Thomas Kinsella

Fat Master
Peppercanister Books, through Dedalus Press, Dublin, Ireland

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