My child sits mulling her homework, and career,
asks me offhand, “father, what’s your profession?
What should I be when I’m done studying here?”
“Whatever you like, but keep your conscience clear,
and do it well, whatever must be done.”
Still she insists, “you must give me some idea?”
- I’ve long anticipated her question -
and rattles off, “dentist, fireman, overseer?”
“I make stuff with my hands.” “So, an engineer?
Isn’t that what you call such a person?
“What do you make, father, houses, bridges, piers,
or is it tiny cogs and wheels and capstans?
And do you do it well? and is your conscience clear?”
My startled tongue still keeps up a veneer,“A weapon-maker is more of a craftsman.”