Breaking Point

Pa, I see you in your shed–
unaware of dusk settling
over your garden, painting
your pink crabapple blossoms
grey. I see you bend, to squint
at some small imperfection
marring the wooden soldier
you’ve spent the whole day carving,
hands slow-dancing to a tune
no-one else can hear. Later
Ma will shake her head, dismiss
your need for perfect contours
and seamless joins as foolish,
not understanding a man,
a soldier or a husband
is only ever as strong
as his weakest part.

Ryan Stone

15 thoughts on “Breaking Point

  1. A very wise piece and a wonderful story with strong imagery. Ma doesn’t understand the detail why the pieces must be perfect, but your last three lines resonated with me. A man, a soldier, a husband, I know you’ve had experience with all three. Perhaps pa did too? But for me, what resonated that competition in general, say, a game of chess, means defending and improving upon your weaknesses. I had a basketball couch in junior high and high school who said almost what you say, that ‘ a team is only as good as it’s weakest player,’ along with, ‘practice doesn’t make perfect
    , perfect practice makes perfect.’ I would think Pa would be agreeable with the perfect practice part’ as away of defending, preventing weakness.

    Cheers Ryan have a lovely week!

    Liked by 1 person

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