Hot, in the seventies. That summer scorched a hole in his pocket.
Trowel, a diamond-tip scrive, skills, used, with pride, grouted
as clipped art over millennia. Seven years in apprenticeship;
silent servants in waiting for a call, laid by, with care.
Brought to the table by his stirring song, we sat, a carbon
circle of grimy traces of den, twig and secret places.
Burnt pan, bottom scraped, we balked at more. Eyes raw
with smoke; dog eyed, dog tired, a fire dog set to prod us
into flame, he held us, rapt in old magic. Raucous bawl
and rowdy hoots at owl tales, sprawled myths of nightingales,
hidden fruits, singed bracken, wind browned roots,
Strega, danger and the breadth of a chestnut's smile.
Then, he spiked childhood on tines of hunger, of mouths
agape, a silent thunder of spindle limbs, friendly fire,
how sewers ran in bomb scored rills, bare waste,
as were untoiled fields in lachrymae, ossary and sun.
How they prayed, Pappa, come home soon.
His eyebrow raised, dark gate to origins and mysteries.
We ate; thoughts fine ground, as cornmeal on our plate.