for Herbert Clancey
Like the signature in maplewood
of sun-splashed rain,
this man’s bright pattern must remain
beside the workbench where he stood
smoothing the grain.
Deprived of work, he would not rest
he lived to build a living thing
that, by impassioned hands caressed,
might learn to sing.
This shop is where his spirit is.
Twelve months a year,
the world arranged to meet him here,
arriving in trussed packages
from far and near.
Rosewood came from India,
came from the Caribbean sea,
from western Africa
Tonewoods from earth’s four corners sent
he stacked here, stored
beneath an image of Our Lord,
who made of him the instrument
of their accord.
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