the wax paper

Diane Tucker

SAD MEN

The small huge things that sad men do:

sad men who build with everything but words.

They build doll houses, train sets, HO mountains

from cereal boxes and plaster of Paris.

Fathers build the mountains they can for their sons.

For daughters they build scroll-sawed shelves

for phalanxes of dolls and blown-glass animals:

blue-lace room’s little livestock, its fields and Barbie-barns.

Sad fathers who’ve eluded words carve magic

circles in in their back lawns, for swimming pools.

They sieve stones out of the soil circles

so nothing will nick the pools’ thin blue skin.

This is the testament, the manifesto

of sad men who live starved of words:

drywall, carport, pickle jars of nails,

lawnmower, farmer tan, house paint,

apple tree, solder gun, handsaw, wood plane.

And wood shavings fallen from the vise,

wooden curls on the cold garage floor,

wooden curls warm on the little girl’s ears.

Vancouver, BC, native Diane Tucker has published three poetry books and a YA novel. Her first full-length play was produced by Fire Exit Theatre in Calgary, Alberta in 2013. She helps host and run Vancouver’s Dead Poets Reading Series.