New Work

by John Flynn


He feels guilty enough about writing poems

much less talking about it for a precarious living.

He sticks closer to carpentry; straightening boards,

hammer blows, cutting the corners of a stair so it

stands right and is safe for the climber, the old and

babies just walking. Being sure the rafters carry

a roof that sheds rain and whatever snow load

settles in. Fitting oak boards to make the floor,

no gaps or creaks, the nails angled and set in the

tongue each with one massive blow of the mallet.

Doors that swing quietly, smoothly, and latch with

a soft, hollow chirp. At end of day he puts his

tools away, picks up a bit and sweeps.

He inhales the smell, the silence of new work,

the day's final chirp of the solid core door.