—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.