10-27 Vestigia Dei

Vestigia Dei

—Latin, “footprints of God”

Our work crew unpacked a rip saw,

reciprocating saw, table saw, saw horses, levels, drills,

hammers, wood screws, shank nails, lag bolts and deck lumber


as Bessie, seventy-something, greeted us on her splintery deck.

Avoiding wobbly handrails, she stepped over a missing plank,

hair silver streaked in the October sun. Yellow Jackets

hovered lazily about, tempered this cool morning.


Wielding sledge hammers, pry bars, and back leverage,

we grunted loose and tossed warped steps,

nailed stringers, screwed joists underneath as spiders

and crickets peered at these Leviathan invaders.


Sawing and nailing sawing and screwing resawing

and refitting, sawdust drifted over her lawn. A splinter

pierced my palm from a weatherworn beam.


New steps, planks and railings made a woody resurrection.

When done, Bessie grabbed the railing, studied new planks,

looked around “My, my… my my… my soul…”


Sawdust footprints followed ahead.