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(Old) Grief

The crew comes again, this time to strip the crumbling
asbestos shingles from my house, taking them all, and all
the way down to the studs, the original wood even then
having already been salvaged—lacey with char and
the perfect pinholes of wood borers—giving up only
some of its secrets in the day’s thinning light, to make
way for the new, one more costly gamble on insulation
against the future, all the weather I know will come
around again, like the end of an epic poem, something
from here so far in the distance it’s a surprise when
it’s only a moment away, I know it will come
with its inclemencies and inversions, a mean
temperature here, a secondary depression there,
and all the while punctuated by bursts, shears, occlusions,
maybe even a whiteout. On certain days during this long
repair, I can’t see clearly, the air so fogged with random
flingings from the circular saw and split too with those prying
cries as rusted spiral shank fasteners are yanked, thrown down,
left. And it’s only weeks later, after it’s all over, I’m
finding nails everywhere—in the garden, in the driveway, in
heaps near the gate, under the redbud, glittering even through
the feathered surface of the birdbath—as if to mark where
each cry landed, to bring it, like a dark chorus, back to me.