With the special brightnessOf a front passed through.
The dock is in the water,
Some boards on the walkway
Starting to rot.
We walk down the path to the cottage,
And see a tree across the roof,
Resting on the ridge beam,
Topped, as they say, in a May storm,
The most serious damage to a nest
Where two wrens had expected
To raise their young.
The tree guy can come that day and
Works quickly; before leaving he blows
Pine straw off the roof:
We are paying for things
We used to do for ourselves.
I gather up small branches
And haul them to my brush pile,
Rest between trips longer,
Martha has a cane
But only uses it going up to the car.
I notice on my leg, just below the knee,
The first traces of those
Blue roadmaps of veins
(They don’t wash out),
Further evidence of things
One must not give in.
Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in June 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club, and have appeared in over 150 periodicals. A retired educator, he resides in Wolfeboro, N.H. and Burlington, N.C.