My father was a quarryman, hands at home
On a welded wheel, fingers stiff, waiting for sun
To clear the lip of the pit, an artist is his own way
Content to read the grain through an emery palm
Leaving the rest to rain and wind. My mother on the other
Hand was a chiseler with a syncopated mallet
No stranger to the fluter and veiner, fine dust felting
Her coffee, laboring ankle deep in a drift of flake humming
As she set to removing everything that didn’t belong.
One morning, seeing my chance, right hand freed
Only the night before, I hacked out feet and a face
Only a mother could love, raking footprints clean as I left.