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Posts tagged “Joe Bergin

The carpenter’s challenge, By : Joe Bergin

Catpenter's Challenge 1
The Carpenters spokeshave
Photography by : Nigel Borrington

CARPENTER’S CHALLENGE

Joe Bergin

First heard of him from Uncle John
Something about a carpenter coming down
From back up in the mountains to work
In the town and on the camps down by the lake

Ate no meat, nothing from the deadly nightshade family
And didn’t drink but once a year
In a three day bacchanal on the summer solstice

I’d seen his work and it was damn good
He was something of a mystery to me

Came down to the lake and that’s where I met him
Working on the family camp
Alight in his eye and doing the work I should’ve done

He had but one good hand and the other
The right one, I believe, had a part of a thumb
And no fingers to speak of really

But Bert could frame an addition or
Build a deck as good and fast as anyone
Had his tricks, though, like the rubber band
Around his wrist to hold the nails his hand

Couldn’t grasp,and many more I’m sure
Tried to find his house once in the back country
To drop off an anti-war t-shirt I knew he’d love

Had the right address but got lost on the
Winding dirt roads and couldn’t find it

Told my brother James about it and he said
“Maybe you weren’t supposed to!”