Confusing Love with Comfort

My dad thought I’d slice off my thumb
with the table saw,

make my coffee too strong
and my tea too weak,

confuse love with comfort,
Scripture for mercy

and gladness for generosity.
His regard was high, estimation low.

I would like to say that I fooled him,
that I learned how to mix

whiskey and water, though alcohol
and a car I never mastered,

that I learned to volunteer
at a river dredging for discards

though never lending a hand
to my ancient neighbor when he struggled

with raking his yard, that I learned
to be facile with wood,

can make a plank flip
with only one thumb

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