Sizing His Dream

Sizing His Dream June 15, 2015


After my father died, I leafed through his notebooks as a schoolboy as he was learning his trade. This poem comes from feeling him as a young learner.



Near the end, our father gave me

these notebooks written in his hand

when he was sixteen, trying to under-

stand his trade. There are drawings and

measurements. He was sizing his dream.

I want each of us to have one, to have a

piece of him since he took so much of us

with him. I know his creative gene swims

between us, can feel it when we talk of

painters and sculptors and tireless work-

men, unaware of their greatness. He was

a great builder like you. I think you have

his vision. And I, his mother’s heart. I

want you—on a night when you miss him

deeply—to hold this pad that he held, that

he poured himself into. Know when you

hold it, that I am holding the other. Know

that together we bring him back in a flutter

of what lasts forever. Put your hand on one

of his drawings and imagine him years

before he knew our names, imagine

him leaning over this pad, learning

what to do with all he was born with.

A Question to Walk With: Hold something that belonged to someone you loved who’s no longer here. Let your hands be in conversation with something they held.

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