This morning the nip of not-quite-frost
gave an urgency to my stone assemblage:
soon the sporadic flurry of maple leaves
will become a storm that will smother
the work; my pattern of stones
on its carefully edged bed of stone dust
will have to wait until spring
for its final grouting.
But today I can brush away a few leaves,
adjust the spacing, cradle each rocking stone
in more carefully administered stone dust,
setting stone in stone. This is painstaking work:
more and more stone dust I shovel
from the trailer into the wheelbarrow,
from the wheelbarrow to a bucket
and work it carefully under each rock that moves
until it doesn’t.
At last the trailer is empty, the flagstones
are steady; all is ready for the grout.
I return to the house for a shot of scotch,
and to watch odd leaves fluttering down.