The poem appears in the Spring 2020 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe, click here.

The pine deck on our house had rotted through.
Thirty years of wild mountain weather
Drenched, froze, thawed, dried, and scored the grain like leather.
Sun and water worked themselves down to
The core to do what sun and water do.
“Look,” said Duane. The wood split like a feather
In his hammer’s claw. So it wasn’t whether
This summer worked. It was overdue.
The yard’s now a construction site, litter
Of planks, beams, nails, screws, bolts, dust everywhere.
And there, between a dangling end of rope
And dumpster-bound board . . . how can I be bitter? . . .
A spider’s architecture on the air.
I have to laugh. Now that’s what I call hope.