I sift through boxes of found objects
gathered on the workbench in my garage.
Sort through memories of my father
who always stood away,
never opening the door to himself.
I assemble selected objects:
broken, splintered pieces of plywood
found in the trash bins behind Big Lots;
a wall piece with a rabbit’s head
found at a garage sale;
a bent, rusted paint can lid
found behind a furniture store;
broken two by fours, printed photos,
a piece of rubber hose.
I paw through the collection boxes again,
search for pieces that might make legs, arms,
cannot find objects for his eyes.
I arrange, assemble, substitute
one piece for another.
I realize that the assemblage is mute,
does not speak to me at this moment
although I speak to it.
The piece will be finished, given enough
sanding, shaping, sizing,
given more walks along the street,
in deserted parking lots,
given more searching.
My assemblage will rise to hang on a wall.
My father’s world will not.
His stories are lost because he never told them.
The world of him I see is a world