When my father came home with his shears, everyone in the house instantly knew he’d been laid off.
It was always at Christmastime.

After repairing electrical systems on warplanes, he’d dreamed of working as an electrician.
Instead, he became a “cutter,”
matching and cutting cloth for men’s suits.

My father wrapped gauze and tape
around the cold metal handles of the shears, to make them better fit his hands.

 

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