The Cooper's Art
A well-made barrel — she was
well made — every curved tapered
stave fitting seeming seamless.
Promised — No — remembered
liquor mellow as her belly
swelled. But now. drinking's done.
Sun, age, time, build strains
the cooper's art still restrains.
One hoop at either end
kept the spirit young until I
took one tight rusted ring away.
Staves tumbled every which way.
The head fell in on a criss-cross
pile of odd shaped sticks. For
the loss of that one hoop, shape
design, meaning, all undone.