Barry tells the tale of how he and his friends learned how to hammer a nail, building a tree fort. It takes practice and many bent nails.
How to Learn How to Hammer a Nail :: a Poem
Back when tools felt unfamiliar and over sized in the hand there was a bent bouquet of 16 penny nails in a board we were trying to attach to a tree.
(Glancing blows were all we were capable of commanding.)
Our minds sought an explanation for our failure.
Never landing on the concept of unskilled we decided unanimously that the nails we bought from Wicks Lumber must be defective.
The mother we convinced to return them to the store for us happened to be British born and this may have added yet another level of complexity to her exchange with the sales person.
Still, she came back with a new 5 LB box and before the laughter in the lumber yard had entirely trailed away we were back on rickety wooden ladders trying again.
With the same result!?!