race against leaves

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.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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