was his mantra for fixing

anything that broke.

He was a master of wei-wu-wei,

doing without doing.

He’d tinker with a clock

and make it chime on time,

goose a motor to get fire,

caressing valves and pistons,

make it run like sexual desire.

We became friends,

as he tossed down jiggers

of Captain Morgan’s Rum

and I nursed mine.

He often forgot I was the grandson

of a Rabbi, “Jewing them down,”

as we hit every yard sale in town.

He grew potatoes, fished for lobsters

and ran a saw mill in front of a house

he built by himself, digging the cellar

with a pick and shovel.

Impervious to pain, solid as an anvil,

he held back Panzers

in the Battle of the Bulge,

before being taken as a prisoner of war.

In Hospice at the end of a long life,

he was calm as Buddha.

After given the last rites,

his wife asked: “How do you feel

about entering the Kingdom of Heaven?

“Ain’t nothin to it,” he replied.