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
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.