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Prayer Before Assembling the Rugged Tykes Free-Standing Play Kitchen with RealGlow Microwave Action
David Vincenti


Lord, tonight I know why you trusted your
only son to a carpenter. Only a man with
an assembler's skill has the tools to both
entertain and protect. More like a banker,
every day I hope the mortgage I use
to shield the heads of my small children
is a thick enough thatch to keep them through
the growing years. Lord, lend me the hands
of Joseph as I lift the custom tightening tool
(not a screwdriver, more like a screw-stirrer)
and fasten the plastic coffee maker
to its pretend countertop. And Joseph,
tell me: is fostering imagination part of
raising a savior? Right now, ankle deep
in Styrofoam, I feel I could use some saving.
Lord, when later I take your name in vain
at my inability to stretch Tab B and I turn
to the last-minute ingenuity of my wife
with her wrist-dispenser of Scotch Tape,
bring us the understanding of Mary
who knew more than any before or since
that everything is for a reason. And Mary,
would you say we spend too much on gewgaws,
or will you see past to the hours we'll spend
with imaginary omelets served by a three-year-old
matriarch to her own worshipful bunch?
Lord, when I tiptoe past the infant upstairs,
the sister whose somnolent somersaults
will tolerate no tucking, recall in me
the stillness of a straw bed, set back in a barn
away from the unrestfulness of the city.
Lord, with the plate of cookies waiting elsewhere
in this house for your secular representative,
I offer these uncalloused hands, a hammer,
and a twice-used saw in joyous and hopeful
exchange for a bountiful Christmas, the sight
of your hand, a quick recovery of the dowel
I just dropped, and just a few minutes of sleep
before the noisy brightness of morning
once again retires the star of night.

Copyright 2009 by David Vincenti.
Used with the author's permission.


David Vincenti is a father, husband, poet, engineer, project manager, accordionist, and bowler whose poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Rabbit Ears: TV Poems and Meta-Land. He is the author of two collections: To the Ones Who Must Be Loved (2010) and A Measure of This World: Galileo's Dialog with the Universe (2015).  Learn more about him at




Post New Comment:
Wonderful extended metaphor. Skillfully and beautifully done. Perfect for Christmas Eve. Takes me back...
Posted 12/23/2014 07:17 PM
This poem rings true. Great connection between harried father and Joseph the carpenter.
Posted 12/23/2014 12:18 PM
I smiled, nodded, agreed with David as I remembered a similar far away ~and suddenly, brought back again. Lovely poem, thank you. Judy
Posted 12/23/2014 10:57 AM
Wonderful poem!!
Posted 12/23/2014 10:38 AM
Most enjoyable poem!
Posted 12/23/2014 07:51 AM
I love this!
Posted 12/23/2014 07:14 AM
p.s. My favorite part: And Joseph, tell me: is fostering imagination part of raising a savior?
Posted 12/23/2014 06:28 AM
Wonderfully perfect, in so many ways. Kay
Posted 12/23/2014 06:23 AM
Carol Halligan:
You nailed it, David.
Posted 12/22/2014 11:45 PM

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