The workshop smells of chemicals
and wood, a hint of fur and the sound
of wild running through tall grass.
I watch him peel the skin from deer,
polish bear claws and fix the flaws
of careless shots in the body of a running fox.
But best I like to touch the birds,
the pheasant caught in flight, eyes
turned toward field and shining like a ribbon
or the wood duck gently landing
on a farmer’s marsh, wings turned down
for slow descent, water parting at its feet.
And when the lights are out,
all the glassy eyes of fish turn cold
and hold the moon like lanterns
burning from the bottom of a lake,
my father’s hands alive in animal dreams,
all spinning surly to the sea.