The Pine Chest: A Villanelle – Carolyn Adams

Carolyn Adams

It started with a broken box, a chest
of striped cedar in such a sorry state,
whose back was splintered from a careless past.

My father considered it a fair test
of what his able hand could mitigate.
It started with a broken box, a chest

I thought beyond repair, and so was less
inclined to want. I saw a worthless crate
whose back was splintered from a careless past.

He built another box for me at last,
of lesser pine, unadorned, second-rate.
It started with a broken box, a chest,

my father angry I could not invest
simple faith in his skill to reinstate,
whose back was splintered from a careless past.

I gave away the box he made, a waste.
He kept the cedar one I wouldn’t take.
It started with a broken box, a chest
whose back was splintered from a careless past.

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