By Marilyn Zuckerman
After W.C. Williams
striding across the sloped roof
where yesterday they stripped
away old tiles
until only the beams remained,
then spread blue plastic
when it rained.
balanced like dancers
they turn in efficient choreography
and place each length of plywood
board by board and straight
to cover the incline,
gear strapped to a sagging
belt about the waist—
hammer, bags of nails,
a flexible tape measure
—the lethal power saw
set down across the slanted planks
and safely roped.
After a flamboyant toss of the staple gun
one to another
they stand swaggering at chimney level
while one casually gets off a golf swing
in silhouette against the mountains.
· · ·
A belated Labor Day poem, dedicated to all workers everywhere. May they always have work and be paid well!
From my book, In the Ninth Decade, Red Dragonfly Press, 2010.