Jobsite Wind

A weekly poem, read by the author.
July 17 1997 3:30 AM

Jobsite Wind

Jobsite Wind

By Mark Turpin

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(posted Wednesday, July 16)

To hear the poet read "Jobsite Wind," click here.

that rips paper from the walls and changes plywood into sails
staggering a bent laborer with his load--
that curves string lines, bounces grass and trees in gusts

and makes the stick-framed studs above the ledger hum.
It searches all of us moving or standing still,
holding hammer or nailgun, our faces tight with cold

and hair wild. It searches us, leaning into the day,
for nothing we have or don't have, buffets the unprotected
figure atop the wall and one stooped above a half-framed floor

forcing blocks between the joists. Wakened
by the wind I drove deserted, limb-wreck streets to the job
and found the roofless walls awash in wind, thrashing like a ship

in webs of lumber and shadows waving
above raindark floors laid purposeful with wood and nails.
Wind that threaded the trembling sticks of the house

driving plastic buckets down stairs, testing the corners
of a plywood stack, smearing a dropcloth to a wall like a shroud--
that rolled out of the throat of the world huge and articulate blasts--

And shoring spreadlegged, watching my hand hammering
in rhythm to my breath, the world hidden
beyond the nailhead's own demands

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