Pat Jones

The Drafting Set

by Gail C. DiMaggio

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Just past his death she found the shabby case
among the useful tools. Tucked up inside —
tin templates, a tiny bullet used to hide
the lead, five compasses each nested in a space
composed for its specific elegance, all graced
with subtle dials, sharp points and arms to ride
the arc. In his square hands, they’d deftly guide
fine lines and fix strict distances in space.

But he put them down for music. So why, then, keep
the things through six moves over forty years?
And why had a rebellious man so loved the task
of guaranteeing angles? She’d never seen
the incongruity until this moment, here
in all this dust with no one left to ask.

As a high school English teacher, Gail DiMaggio focused on helping young people find their voices and for 35 years pretty much ignored her own. Meanwhile, she mitigated this cliché existence by marrying a jazz trombonist. Retired now, and widowed, she lives and writes in Naples, FL.