At first I did not hear the soft sound
or feel the fluttering shadows on my face.
I was working, cleaning out the shed at the place I am moving to.
Coughing, breathing in the dust of the past,
making the future come clear,
thinking of Grandpa and the time he spent teaching me wood inlay,
hoping to honor him by building in here.
Then I heard, and saw,
something in the light of the window,
a tattered-wing moth banging against the glass.
It did not like my enclosing hands
but outside when I sprung them wide
it soared with joy into the trees.
My eyes followed it up until I saw Grandpa looking down.
Build a good life, he said. That is true carpentry.
I am a man caught in dust and dreams, but I don’t have to be,
grace looks down, caresses my face like wings,
and like the moth in the morning I fly free.
November 3, 2007