A mighty ship on course. A tortoise, he moves steady,
dives into projects few would tackle. Blessed with skills
to embarrass pony-tailed handymen: changing tires,
rewiring electrical misbehaviors, building sheds.

He exudes how-to, bookkeeper – holding budget wolves
at bay. Computer problems, banes to my existence,
sizzle his brain, a burbling coffeepot of ideas
and “try this” possibilities.

Steam pours out his ears. He attacks kinks, “won’t work”
apparatus – Ahab on the sea chasing monstrous white
whales of modern life. TV hook-ups, sink stoppage, toilet
parts disintegrating in mid-flush – putty in his grasp;

molding them, pliable dough in hands that seek solutions.
Life flows again, for a time, without spasmodic eruption.

And yet, when restless grandchild climbs on long-legged
Levi lap, together they pursue words connected with book
pictures, a find and capture chase.

Grandchild calms to lean against raggy-armed denim shirt,
a worn-out declaration of tractor repair, car valve replacements,
splitting seasoned wood; wood – that guardian against
temperatures dropping relentless cavalcades of cold
on our home, the freeze – wood fire repelled each morning.

Calm wonder, balm of Gilead to my soul. Silver-lined help.
Dozing, open mouthed in recliner each evening, brave protector
against mean winds that ever beat at windows, challenging
“aging” threats, forays of world pressure; bullet trains
of fear not stopping at our station this day.