A Signature Picture


A storm had downed our sapling apple tree.
Its blossomed branches brushed against the ground,
While Father studied it to see what he
Could do. Deep inside the garage he found
An iron rod and a greased cable. He wrapped
The steel rope round the trunk and pulled it till
The roots settled back into the grass-capped
Earth. Then I watched his workman's shovel spill
Black mud into a modest mound. Within
The long and narrow hole he firmly placed
The rod and looped the coil over it,
Before he tautly tied it to a limb.
   Always he worked to make the broken fit
   Again. And that's how I remember him.

Kenneth O'Keefe