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Ashlar Home > Poems > Jack Sutton > Grandpa's Wooden Chest

Grandpa's Wooden Chest

By Jack Sutton

I hated to hear the lawyer say
The things my grandpa gave away.
Like his old truck to Dad and Mom
And world war medals to Uncle John

My name was called
And something was said
About an old wooden box
Underneath his bed.

Just a worn out chest
With a rusty hinge
But I knew Grandpa kept
Something special within.

When I opened the lid
All I could see
Were some unused tools
And a letter to me.

A large fancy cloth
With two long strings
A small wooden hammer
Among other things

He wrote a man's job
Is to be a good husband father and a friend.
I built my life as best I could
By the tools laid here within.

He said the compasses remind me that life has boundaries
So live your life within
The square proves true and so should you
When dealing with all your friends.

Be an honorable man and walk uprightly
According to the plumb.
The level teaches us treat all men equal
Instead of only some.

And now it's your turn
To start your journey for knowledge, love and faith
So live your life by the Square and Compasses
And tools of your trade

Many years have passed by since I first opened
Grandpa's wooden chest
The tools he gave me, the words he wrote
The challenge to be my best.

Today I'll visit Grandpa
At the place where he was laid
To let him know he can be proud
I'm a Master of my trade.
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