Shaving Lesson

Rusted tractor, misty morning.

Oily bags

And mismatched screws

Wearing

Rusted washers;

Coarse bolts

And nuts with

mouths agape.

The son removes

Bands of steel

While the father

Cleans the remains

To put to use

Another day.

A perfect fit!

But not quite.

Son runs to the truck

While father

Digs in his tools

To find a fix

To their fix.

Metal on metal,

Father and son,

One learns

While the other teaches.

He learns

To shave

With steady hands.

A gap between

The rods becomes

Secure with

The shaved bolt

And a few nuts

By the dexterity

Of the father

And the observation

Of the son.

Composed 06/10/12

Author’s Note: On this particular day, I was outside, enjoying the warm weather, when I noticed my host dad and host brother tinkering about. I sat with them and watched as they began to prepare parts to fix up the family vehicle. It was one of those rare father-son moments you hear about from sit coms and dramas. It was fascinating to see what they could do with what appeared to be salvaged parts. There’s big money right now for salvaged metal in the countryside, so you’ll see massive piles of rusted metal in most people’s yards, waiting to be taken to the factory in Darkhan.

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