physical dismantling

squeak…squeak…bits of wood like sawdust loosen
with each counter clockwise turn
an agonizing dismantling, not of this table
but its past, my past, a dad built past

so long past now, the wood dowels have shrunk and been re-glued
several times, the holes in the mid-century modern plexiglass top re-drilled
several times, so much sawdust, a history of friction
between the wood table frame and the plexiglass top, 
once the height of modern subtle design, now yellowed and mellowed
as a testament to a well thought and driven design 
every piece of the structure still holds together while moving
in a wobbly, loosened state

the legs, the cross bars with visible cracks now
cracks, stains, gauges, seams loosened, 
on the once perfectly sanded and subtly angled legs and frame

it is not just the perfection of the design and construction,
it is my memories as a child
watching my father at his bench
in his basement workshop, full of the smell of wood in its various stages
from raw to utilitarian, the thousands of very specific tools, 
the hundreds of old coffee tins holding every imaginable nail or screw,
the small portable transistor radio playing scratchy jazz as he worked,
the time i held the end of his finger in a cotton handkerchief on the way to the hospital
after he had a mishap with the table saw

his flow of magic came from that basement workshop,
where most of our furniture was made, 
and much of my understanding of my father comes from, 
which is why it is difficult to dismantle
anything he made, it is like dismantling that part of our experience
card table
card table detail
hand chiseled crossbar joint
angled table top detail
table dismantled
table screws