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My Father’s Garden

My Father’s Garden MY FATHER'S GARDEN I David Wagoner On his way to the open hearth where white-hot steel Boiled against furnace walls in wait for his lance To pierce the fire-clay and set loose demons And dragons in molten tons, blazing Down to the huge satanic cauldrons, Each day he would pass the scrapyard, his kind of garden. In rusty rockeries of stoves and brake-drums, In grottoes of sewing-machines and refrigerators, He would pick flowers for us: small gears and cogwheels With teeth like petals, with holes for anthers, Long stalks of lead to be poured into toy soldiers, Ball-bearings as big as grapes to knock them down. He was called a melter. He tried to keep his brain From melting in those tyger-mouthed mills Where the same steel reappeared over and over To be reborn in the fire as something better Or worse: cannons or cars, needles or girders, Flagpoles, swords, or ploughshares. But it melted. His classical learning ran Down and away from him, not burning bright. His fingers culled a few cold scraps of Latin And Greek, magna sine laude, for crosswords And brought home lumps of tin and sewer grills As if they were his ripe prize vegetables. T h e M i s s o u r i R e v ie w http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Missouri Review University of Missouri

My Father’s Garden

The Missouri Review , Volume 4 (1) – Aug 27, 1980

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Publisher
University of Missouri
Copyright
Copyright © The Curators of the University of Missouri.
ISSN
1548-9930
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

MY FATHER'S GARDEN I David Wagoner On his way to the open hearth where white-hot steel Boiled against furnace walls in wait for his lance To pierce the fire-clay and set loose demons And dragons in molten tons, blazing Down to the huge satanic cauldrons, Each day he would pass the scrapyard, his kind of garden. In rusty rockeries of stoves and brake-drums, In grottoes of sewing-machines and refrigerators, He would pick flowers for us: small gears and cogwheels With teeth like petals, with holes for anthers, Long stalks of lead to be poured into toy soldiers, Ball-bearings as big as grapes to knock them down. He was called a melter. He tried to keep his brain From melting in those tyger-mouthed mills Where the same steel reappeared over and over To be reborn in the fire as something better Or worse: cannons or cars, needles or girders, Flagpoles, swords, or ploughshares. But it melted. His classical learning ran Down and away from him, not burning bright. His fingers culled a few cold scraps of Latin And Greek, magna sine laude, for crosswords And brought home lumps of tin and sewer grills As if they were his ripe prize vegetables. T h e M i s s o u r i R e v ie w

Journal

The Missouri ReviewUniversity of Missouri

Published: Aug 27, 1980

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