by Kirk Westphal
Reverent hands select boards
that will hold the books,
Poplar, neither hard nor soft –
the durability of words
and malleability of intentions
embossed with clear grain of a Vermont river,
shadowed with alluring verdant hues
exposed to light
after years of quiet preparation
in the lexicology of trees.
These boards might have become paper
but do not choose their resurrection
nor measure one against another.
Ink on paper smells as new and old
as a fresh saw cut –
no knots in finely crafted lines.
Kirk Westphal is a water resource consultant, amateur carpenter, coach, author, and songwriter. The poem, "The Keepers," is excerpted from his first published collection of poetry, Bodies of Wood and Water (Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press, 2018). He is also the author of No Ordinary Game (DownEast Books, 2015), a collection of stories about great moments in sports that happen to everyday people. He lives in Stow, MA and is currently putting the finishing touches on a timber frame cabin in the Berkshire foothills, which is sure to become his favorite place to write in the years ahead.
Kirk will be reading from Bodies of Wood and Water at the Silver Unicorn Bookstore’s first poetry night on Wednesday, July 18 at 6 p.m., 12 Spruce Street, Acton, MA. Joining Kirk will be Helen Marie Casey, Christopher Clark, and Susan Edwards Richmond. Please come, hear some great poetry, and check out this beautiful new bookstore in West Acton.