“Carpenter” by Rodney Waschka II

Rodney Waschka II


We waited. We always
for him to finish jobs.
No one was allowed to tell
what they wanted.
No measurements. No descriptions.
Just name it
desk chair shelves cabinet and
show the room. Then
But when it finally came
desk to write the perfect letter
chair to rest a lover
shelves to hold a life of books
cabinet to secrete the finest brandy
how we touched and touched. Fingers
gliding along surfaces. Palms cradling
corners. Forearms measuring strength.
Lumber brought back to life.
A month before he died
we said beds.
They appeared without wait. Amazed,
we asked.
We thought it a little joke
when he said:
I haven’t much time.
Now sleep:
at desks
on chairs
against shelves
our children in his new beds
and he in cabinet smooth arms of wood.

from Rattle #9, Summer 1998


Rodney Waschka II: “I work hard enough at my regular job of composing contemporary concert music that it’s not clear why I write—I certainly don’t need more art trouble. Maybe it’s because I was briefly a student of the fine poet and teacher Richard Sale.”

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