The Quotable

Roof Man

From the eighteenth green he's nearly insignificant
atop the clubhouse roof. Suppose that he’s like anyone,
beloved and ignored. Brown-skinned and glistening
in this florid summer sky, he shoulders rolls of tar—
blistering weight. A workman back and halfback legs
lift him steeply to the sun before it falls behind the courts.

Despite the lack of mercy in his present altitude,
a fluid climb defies a fear of falling. Having failed
to elude professional linebackers, his menial wage
should be enough to raise another’s child and wish
that she were his. Aloft, he contemplates the joy of her
or how her mother wants for more than he can give.

When he later finds the folded note, taped to the fridge
in his newly forsaken home, there's a .45 in the closet,
rope and rafters in the garage. But should he bear, now,
the weight of her reason, the earthbound may prefer
a graceless slip and tumble to his muscled, accelerating
arc, from peak to shallows of the country club pool.

 

--

Allen M. Weber lives in Hampton, Virginia with his wife and their three sons. He is the winner of the 2011 Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Prize. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently in Miller’s Pond, Fickle Muses, and in the Poet’s Domain, The Burning of the Leaves

 

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