Friday, June 10, 2011


The box sits on the mantel
next to the picture we took on Family Day--
Family Day at the youth prison,
a time to visit, a time to celebrate
the bonds that are growing
between us.

It is a simple box, cedar, brass hinges, and,
dark velvet
where he had slowly carved the wood into tiny shavings
and sanded the edges smooth.

He has created space here,

Everything fits together, well crafted, well matched,
a product of time, and care, and love.

Every detail is perfect, the finish smooth and shiny
to the touch, knowing that his hours of work have borne fruit
and the box is done--
Done for Father’s Day,
his gift to honor the feelings
growing inside of him,
a gift to me, and to his soul.

Clean, well crafted space
sacred to all of us, this feeling of family
Sacred to him in his work,
behind the prison walls, his sacred work
going on long after wood shop is done,
creating his own space
where the peace of the space is made

Neal Lemery, June 2011

1 comment:

njs said...

Lovely poem, Neal. I'd read Karen's piece on that subject. Good for all of you!