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Bentshn- Yiddish word meaning to pray or recite blessing

He spent weekend daylight hours
at his workbench with a pencil stub
and an oil-stained rag always within reach.
He’d drag planks of wood under the teeth
of a radial saw, then sand the edges
until the cold wood turned silky.
Piles of sawdust gathered around him
like temples, like anthills. He presided
over a city of used glass jars, old homes
for jam and instant coffee, washed clean
and filled with lug bolts, driver bits, coins.
Inside the house a dying son played video games.
The man remained in the garage to repair
the things that needed fixing,
to salvage what could be saved.


Lizi Gilad is working toward completion of her first manuscript. She lives in Southern California, where she blogs about poetry and chronic illness at She has a poem forthcoming in Poetica Magazine. She also has a husband, a daughter, and a melancholy dog.

© 2011, Lizi Gilad Silver

One comment on “Bench, by Lizi Gilad Silver

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