Francis Santaquilani


Accidental Death and Dismemberment


A fixture now in my garage's gape.
Grateful for my coffeemug hand.
Old sawdust and powdery snow blow
Through the ghost of my hammering hand
And cling to my coat. The naked branches
Have never undulated more slowly
Against the February sky as they do now.
Each branch in focus and
The clouds like sturgeon drift.
Their bellies scrape the rooftops and the sun,
Subdued by gray cataracts, sits trapped
In the leafless trees.
The snow that sparkled last night
Suffocates beneath a glaze of ice.
The crows on the telephone wire stare.
Their stare more purposeful than mine,
More productive. They're within reach.
The cold wind is my prosthesis.
They've never been so abundent or so
Interested in my routine.
What's there to see?
I was an average carpenter
Working out of my garage and a below average
Businessman in a town full of go getters.
A blue jay scrap is squelched by the echo of
Rapid fire hammering exploding from
The new house going up two blocks down.
The dogs home alone yap no matter what.
I was never at my best when the day was raw.
I hated cold wood and cold nails. I liked a
Warm hammer and a warm saw.
Brown leaves skate in circles on the glazed
Snow. The mailman's about three blocks away.
The housewives at coffee won't miss my sloppy
Hammering, my radio or my Black & Decker
Saw's screech. They may think something's
Amiss though, like not hearing the cawing
Of the crows breaking the welcome silence
After the garbage men have made their
Stops and moved on to the next block.

Submitted: Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Edited: Tuesday, October 11, 2005

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