They’re hammering next door,
the neighbors, up on their roof,
patching places where wild wind
ripped shingles, sent them flying
in the yard. The older guy kneels,
hammer in hand, nails in his mouth,
and now the air is still and cold.
Snow coming tonight, they say,
six inches at least, and behind
that an arctic blast.
The younger guy struggles
not to slide toward the roof’s edge.
His red hoodie hides his eyes,
but clearly he’s afraid,
gripping his hammer but holding
his other palm flat
against the steeply slanted side.
He’s not really getting anything done.
Hammer strokes ring out,
then weaken and die. Two crows
flap by overhead. A woman climbs the ladder,
which shakes with every step.
She snarls at the men, who nod quickly,
then follow her down toward the snowy ground.
Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared widely, and several of his poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Recent collections include A Landscape in Hell, How Fascism Comes to America, and The Coffee Drinker’s Son.