Dad had a feel for wood,
working with the grain to craft a mitre joint.
The sweet scent of fresh cut timber made him feel good;
fashioning wood gave his life a point.
One Christmas I unwrapped a garage he had made;
a prelude to endless hours of fun
until the joy of toy cars began to fade
and the garage was packed away, dusted and done.
Wood-turning was his salvation
when Parkinson’s disease took hold.
His determination was a revelation
as he turned candlesticks in the cold.
His draughty shed, littered with many a wood shaving,
resembled a *Pre-Raphaelite painting;
the one where Christ’s shadow is pinned to a wall,
reminding us that death comes to us all.
*The Shadow of Death by William Holman Hunt (1870-73, retouched 1886), Manchester City Art Galleries.