wind chimes

That first laid-off month
he made wind chimes, 
experimenting with fishing line,
coated string
screw-in metal eyelets.

He'd scroll wood
for the crown piece
or deconstruct a wagon wheel,
relearning lessons from        
other wind-catching lore. 

He’d wrench wrenches,
spoons and bits
of copper tubing
into rods and strikers, 
punch-holing with an awl
and ball-peen hammer,
metal shavings a visible sheen
on the rough skin of his hands.                   

He’d hang wind chimes
on all four porch rails,
outside the kitchen window,
and on shepherd's hooks
pushed into the frost of the yard.

When the snow would fly
in the woodcut sky,
he'd stop to hear
c h i m i n g,
a ringing, resounding
choir of useless
musical objects.

-- Tori Grant Welhouse

2014 Triad
Kay Saunders Memorial
Emerging Poet
3rd Place

“Wind Chimes” achieves poignancy through direct, understated language. I appreciated the contrast between being professionally silenced and disempowered versus needing to make noise, to be heard, and for our contributions to feel relevant. This poem conveys understanding of how our contributions may often seem a useless endeavor, even while conveying an important appreciation for the things made of our hands, from our hearts, which require voice. The specific objects within this poem convey authority over the subject matter, while the voice conveys the unfortunate disconnect between what sustains the inner and outer selves.
— Triad Judge