March 17, 2017KR OnlinePoetry

A Hardware Store as Proof of the Existence of God

From the Kenyon Review, New Series, Spring 1989, Volume XI, No. 2

I praise the brightness of hammers pointing east
like the steel woodpeckers of the future,
and dozens of hinges opening brass wings,
and six new rakes shyly fanning their toes,
and bins of hooks glittering into bees,

and a rack of wrenches like the long bones of horses,
and mailboxes sowing rows of silver chapels,
and a company of plungers waiting for God
to claim their thin legs in their big shoes
and put them on and walk away laughing.

In a world not perfect but not bad either
let there be glue, glaze, gum, and grabs,
caulk also, and hooks, shackles, cables, and slips,
and signs so spare a child may read them,
Men, Women, In, Out, No Parking, Beware the Dog.

In the right hands, they can work wonders.

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Nancy Willard was the author of eleven books of poetry and two novels, Things Invisible to See and Sister Water. Her many books for children include A Visit to William Blake's Inn, which won the Newbery Medal and a Caldecott Honor.