Most things here are violent:
the planer, the router,
all the heavy saws that long
for misdirection to chew
wood down to the bone.

When my brother was small
and I was little taller,
my grandfather rode his horse
up to the back door, stepped
off onto the porch and spat
his way into the kitchen.

He moved through the house
like a sawmill until
he reached the bedroom of
our mother, sick, we thought
dying, and pressed to her hand
a vial from his pocket.

After the noise, the fume,
the disarray pieced together,
after the uncertainty
of birdsong is renewed,
the measure of ointment
administered, we are

spared a moment only
by the crafted desk, its oak
finish, safety from blade
and fever, as if assured
forever summer lightning,
our shrubbery dressed in snow.