By whitewashing the backyard and tarring the step
with the same bristle brush, my grandfather
celebrated the July fortnight in his own way.
He stood his ground, never feeling the need
to be part of the crowd or show force or face,
in line with no one and a law unto himself.
Not for him any demonstration beyond the proof
of sheer effort and the accuracy of hand and eye
which only he was qualified to judge; measurement
bedded in the blood, balance in the marrow.
The satisfaction of knowing the real world of feet
and inches was in order and at his gleaming step
and closed door for another year. Call it narrowmindedness.
He might have called it pleasure.