Knock, knock, knock

The cord was steeply taut, strung so tight. “So tight in my mind,” she said.

When the foreman came back from his morning sojourn into the recess that he never quite could muster the bother to tell anyone about, she knew where he’d been. Sometimes he merely smoked his cigarette and spat on the pavement, but this morning wasn’t so simple, she knew. Some mornings seem to be a run on from a night of thoughts too profound for a species so small. So insignificant. She didn’t know anything about the recess to which he went, but she knew he must surely feel the weight of the transcendent impressing upon bindings all too primal. “Our eyes are small but they see enormous things.”

She watched him kick up dirt in the way of his jovial gait. She always pondered the mystery of this man’s ability to express joy by the way he walks – apparently without intent. “Maybe I should ask him if he’s aware of his walks gregarious enthusiasm.” When returning from smoko in the recess it always seemed as if the puffs of dirt and the friendly swagger were an offer of companionship, but the darkness in his averted demeanour conveyed otherwise. That gaze, averted from everything.

Instead of the usual barking of orders tongue in cheek, he made his way to his nail gun. He picked it up and she watched in wonder as he turned it in his hand, looking at it in consternation. He laid it to rest at his feet and unsheathed the hammer from his tool belt. He drove one nail into wood and then another and still one after the other, deft and deliberate. Rhythm and cadence and candour and knock. Knock, knock, knock.

Somehow in the tightness of her mind she was certain if nothing opened for the foreman, after even this, then from his next recess he’d simply not return.

Knock, knock, knock. Hammer swung and nail driven.

The whole dance posed a question as to whether he should blaze a trail. Or perhaps it was a seeking for the Trail already blazed.

Knock… Knock… Knock

   –   Josiah Hallett


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