THE CEDAR TABLE
My father was a polisher of wood;
He knew his timbers, walnut, ash and oak.
But cedar best, as best of craftsmen should.
Once as a child, I watched him at his work:
He sanded gently, washed with soap and water,
He rubbed with spirit and applied the stain;
He knew the power of water and the spirit,
And of time to emphasise the grain.
I still regret I did not have the grace
To learn the craft at which he was so able:
When he had finished, he could see his face –
And mine – reflected in that polished table.
I’ve learnt of late to love what he did best.
And so I’ve let two restless souls find rest.
Brother Tony Butler