The man needs work, chops

his estimate by twenty-five percent,

unpacks his tools,

measures and trims lumber

on homemade saw horses


Tomorrow, nails in mouth,

he’ll frame the walls,

form the doorway,

the angles of the roof,

two walk-up steps


Then all it wants is a door,

side windows, shingles,

a coat of primer, oil base paint


We stand shoulder to shoulder

listening to the sound of cicadas

seesawing in late afternoon sun,

picturing a handsome shed

where there is none


I cough in our silence

for want of a special word,

not seasoned enough to admit

I’d trade him most everything

for his pickup and sandpaper jaw