This is not a poem about how my father built
a roundhouse and used it as a garage.
Nor is this a poem about how he dug a pit
in its cold clay, lapping its walls
with brieze blocks and pink cement.
This is not a poem about how he cut a sump
in its northeast corner, setting a pump
to chuckle away its oily damp.
This is not a poem about how with us
in early morning frogs would come
from the dazzling grass to shelter
in that earth-smelling cloister; or how
we would find them trapped, lying
like tarry leaves against the concrete,
their eyes milky, uncaring stars.
Nor is this a poem about how one June
we worked together, fixing the suspension
on my beat-up red Fiesta, him
on one end of a bolt and me on the other,
until at last the bolt siezed and we resolved
to drill and break through the holding nut.
No, this is a poem about how
as he drilled the frogs watched
those bright scarves of metal fall from the bit;
how, dumbfounded by his love
reaching down into their prison they looked
and shivered and were not moved.