Working with Daddy

by Daniel Hess

The rake is much too big, the handle long
He wields it awkwardly, my son,
if he were not, we might by now be done,
cause I’d have quickly stopped the wrong
and dangerous, scattering swipes
that slow our progress, jeopardize my spleen
erratically with every jab and joust unclean
and change our compact pile into stripes
of straggling sticks and dirt.
But since he is and he’s so set on pitching in,
I’ll dodge and do my best and when
I need a breath, I’ll stop. And he will hurt
our progress more with outward stroke
—he likes to drag down hard the biggest pile
if I could help myself I wouldn’t smile—
he’ll sigh with happiness and both of us will soak
in separate, mutual joy.
And I will pat his earnest head
and think about the one who bled
so I could be this boy.


While often failing to find the right balance in time management and priorities, Daniel Hess delights in finding poetry in unexpected places and the joy of bringing it to life with words.

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