May 142011

by Allan Johnston

Dressed in bright colors to ward off death

the roadway repair men arrive in the morning

to tear up the road.

They set out their pink cones

and one hammer-jacks through the asphalt with his

pneumatic drill until the lip

of the tractor blade can push in and under

and lift up the pavement as if it were orange peel.

This shows the grid, the white roadway gut

the tractor scrapes along, exposes,

damages, so sewer tops jut

like the petrified trunks of trees in the desert,

so that work is no longer in order

and the road crew packs up and goes home.