Simon S Jackson
Building a Box
He planes the maple in long, smooth sweeps
of his joiner’s hands.
Shavings rise like smoke
and tumble in a wave-break
of scattered curls below,
crisp and delicate as shells.
In my hands they are
warring scorpions, drifting leaves,
a cascading avalanche.
I am shooed away with hands
huge as oak trees.
The sky is wooden.
Clouds curl in whorls of grain
around a knot of sun.
He carves hidden joints and panels with
fingers blunt as hammers.
He pieces together
a box perhaps
a mastless boat. It seems
a simple puzzle for such hours of sweat;
his face is gleaming, head bent.
Slow hands build wood dark with wax,
sail the surface in tiny circles
concealing deeper maps of grain.
He will not come and join me
on the big stone table from where I
set sail to distant lands
or let me ride the tempest
of his hurricane shoulders
about the yard.
I watch. Waiting.
He takes me
to his warm ship of body
and sorrow breaks
over him like a wave.
It seems a small vessel to hold six
months of baby sister.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Winner of The Grace Dieu Poetry Prize 2009
Comments about this poem (Building a Box by Simon S Jackson )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1618 – 28 July 1667)
- leticia s david
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(November 9 - 1937)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Warning, Jenny Joseph
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
- Ring Out , Wild Bells, Alfred Lord Tennyson
Poem of the Day
- Luggage, Kirsty Higginson
- There Is No Place For True Contributor, Pijush Biswas
- Bachchon ka ghar बच्चों का घर, S.D. TIWARI
- Goodnight Prayer(For You), Michael McParland
- Marching On, Edward Kofi Louis
- Rum, crumbs!, Edward Kofi Louis
- To Point It Out To You, Edward Kofi Louis
- elephant selfie, lee fones
- You Are Very Beautiful II, Edward Kofi Louis
- Winter and Christmas, Rimni chakravarty