Sarah Ann Winn celebrates the Fourth of July with a parade of images.
July fourth. Baseball’s on the radio,
a steady hum from the garage
outlasts the locusts for an inning.
Tonight the fireworks will
splay and fall over the lake,
but now in the lull after picnic,
a little work sweetens the languor.
A hymn of mending to be done,
perpetual hum in work clothes
at tool benches. Hum of a.m. radio,
hum of a job well done. Grinding
a machine file, a drill and electric saw job.
A thirst for work, ground down waterless.
A quenchable need to shape for use.
Thirst to be finished, to restart, to righten.
Salt of drive. Of worn hammers
ready to drive home. The well-driven nail,
head flush with board. The carpenter’s tools
love the carpenter at work. In the shade,
a yellow mug full of root beer waits,
slowly forms a ring of sweat on the workbench.
The ice cubes melt away, ebbing as tasked.
The machine needs to be tended. Runs all afternoon.
Salt added to sweet drone of memory.
When the ice cream is ready,
we may scoop it into mugs for floats,
sweetness brought to sweetness,
sip then sneak a dribble of salt
from the side of the metal churn.
Root, it speaks of origins.
First appeared in San Pedro River Review, 2014 (print)
Also appears in Portage (Sundress Publications, 2015) (ebook)
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Photo by txcrew /Flickr