Eric Pankey: “The Worksite”


Too late to the bacchanal, one watches

Twilight settle as lees, dregs, and sludge.

The foundation is poured. The construction delayed.

Rust inches up the bulldozer’s blade.

Wind rocks the boom crane’s jib and hook.

One keeps uncovering something

One has known all along, and is taken aback by the reminder,

By how easily something slips from one’s mind,

That one ever had a purchase upon it in the first place.

The worksite, once a field of clover strung with spider web,

A fringe, out of focus, yet pearlescent,

Darkens beneath humid cloud-shadow.

One notices how the dim light heightens a sense of presence,

As conversely the mundane is elevated by one’s attention to it:

A swallow twinned by its reflection in a wheel rut,

The sag and curve of a slack rope,

The crazy weather out of sync with its season.

Eric Pankey has three books forthcoming: a collections of poems, The Owl of Minerva from Milkweed Editions, as well as  a collection of prose poems, Alias, and a collection of essays, Vestiges, both from Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press.

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