Black Moss Press

New for Wednesday April 14 in our Poem a Day for Poetry Month

We have another featured piece from Antonia Facciponte’s first collection of poems To Make a Bridge in our Poem A Day feature for Nation Poetry Month.

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t get these screws out.

 

Panels of wood picture old stains—grimy globs of grease,

growing islands of moss, shadowy forms of fading chalk, pink

and green. The shed—empty without the lawnmower’s lingering

tang of gasoline, without strong-handled shovels or gardening

gadgets, without winding lengths of well-braided rope—

now stores stories,

images of creeping into cob-web festered walls, stretching an

arm inside the doorframe to snatch the soccer ball, the bottle of

bubbles. Brain sketches stitched together. But today, this June,

under the cratered ghost of morning moon, Dad dismantles the

past on account of mold. He uses a drill that once sat in Nonno

Joe’s grip, un-making the shape of shelter. De-spiralling spears

from their heads, Daddy turns work hours into tale-time, telling

me bout the construction of this one-storied structure.

 

Gotta get these screws out.

 

With feet laced in a refrain of forward, backward, forward,

backward—moving to find solid ground—Dad explains how

he and Nonno elevated and attached the roof. They heaved

the board (heavy with shingles) above heads. Splinters sneaked

into fingers as Nonno yowled at an ache in his side, as his son

rambled bout seeing a doctor. His voice, a frame of words glued

together by the small silences between letters, pauses so Dad

doesn’t breathe in dust, little wood-chip flakes floating in the

air.

 

After de-roofing the rotting box with mine and Mom’s help,

Dad unpeels his sweaty shirt and re-adjusts his black-and-beige

cap. Three sets of work-gloved hands lean into timber, pulling it

away like putty, cracking

 

the cedar house, ripping

apart that which can’t be

rebuilt, until the words

of woodchips, the language

 

of lumber, collapses

onto itself, and the story

is shed to the dirt.

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