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Monday, July 18, 2016


by Margaret S. Mullins

as i read the news, 
i think of the lumberyard
near the railroad tracks, three floors
of stacks of fresh-cut wood,
pine, cedar, black walnut, oak
of all sizes, shapes and smells

my dad and i drove right in, up the ramps
past long table saws and piles of sawdust,
to the workers standing there to give advice,
pull the planks and cut them to size

workers who could hold and look down a board, 
scrutinize it, proclaim it straight
or put it to the side as bowed, imperfect.
we need those mavens today 
to hold our political candidates up, squint,
and proclaim them true or bent

Margaret S. Mullins lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the author of Family Constellation (Finishing Line Press) and the editor of Manorborn: The Water Issue, (Abecedarian Press).