Apprenticeship

You fear these shop boy’s tasks will leave you fruitless.
So far, you’ve shoveled gravel mountains, tilled
Wide fields, scrubbed bathroom floors angelic white,
And little else. At home you lie there, bootless.
Like you, the hours drift on unfulfilled,
And always fade too quickly into night.
Yet solace finds you in the lumber yard.
Your hands, still disapproved to work the wood,
Skirt aging boards on their slow-dying perch;
Your knuckled rap resounds on down their hard,
Rough lengths. It’s only here you’re understood,
Surrounded by the maple and the birch—
These timbers that disuse seems to condemn,
That wait for something to be made of them.


Matthew Faller is a graduate of Villanova University, where he studied in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions.


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