Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

A roof of many colors by James McGurk

                    The storms over
                      The ocean in repose
                       Sorrowing over fallen palms
                                       In sultry air
                                            I wait 

                   Finally
                       A black truck with men
                            Straw hats
                             Jeans
                             Gold crosses under eyes
                              The color of their shovels
                               A funeral carriage for the dead
                                With pall bearers
                                 Backed onto the sidewalk 

                    He asked politely
                         In a language
                                     Strong with pride 

                     Poor favor senor 
                    The cars-please
                     Yes
                      I'll wake the tenets
                     Gracias 

                    I asked -que ciduad (what city)
                    Houston-muy callente ( very hot)
                   Yes-very hot
                    Pero-mi casa-Mexico (but my home Mexico)
                  Me esponsa-the ninos wait (my wife, the babies wait)
                 Pero-ahorra-the roof waits (but-now, the roof waits) 

               Yes the roof
                    Over so many heads
                            And headboards
                             Now celestial eyes
                              Over sensuous desires
                                Embracing in shadows
                                 On candlelit walls

                    Buckets of tar
                     Pallets of tiles
                     Lined the sidewalk

                      Sunkindled rays
                       Cascaded through singe tipped
                        Ivory quilted clouds
                        Drifting on a
                         Passionate cerulean veil   
                          For men
                           Hammering a new beginning
                              For each drop of sunsweat

                       The generators sputtered
                                 A direful dirge
                                  Torturing the soul
                                   Deafening silhouettes 
                                     Thirsting for water
                                       Under arid air

                       Pieces of jagged tiles
                        Dropped onto the grass
	                  showering In a green and black
                                 Checkerboard dishrag

                      The greedy mouth
                             Of the monstrous coffin
                              Devoured memories
                                       Of innocence
                                               And fears
                                                Confessions
                                                 And secrets
                                                  Cleansing all

                        But now
                           The roof
                                 Smell the life
                                              Reborn

                          New memories
                                     To dance to
                          Old ones
                                 To discover

               Babies yet to come
                       A paean to the past
                                    Homage two stories up

              His words
                     Hoy we finish (today we finish)
                                And with them
                                They take
                                 A graveyard
                                        In a truck
                                         That should have
                                                          Curtains
                                                              On
                                                           Small windows
                                                          On a body
                                                           Sleek
                                                         With black fenders

              They gathered their tools
                                      Tarps generators
                                         And a swagger
                                           Of men
                                            Walking on the
                                                            Moon
                                                          Only better
                                                      Dancing on roofs
                 He drove the truck
                                   Slowly
                                        Off the sidewalk
                                       And the Texas tag
                                      Caught the Florida sun
                                       Sparkling
                                           In a floral wreath

              His words
                        Hoy-a techno Nuevo (today a new roof)
                       Manana-me casa (tomorrow my home)

                    As they rode away
                                      I remembered another time
                                                    As a child
                                              My father’s voice
                                             Strong Irish pride
                                                             More pitch
                                         The house cost
                                                           1200.00
            dollars
                                                            No toilet
                                              Just the usual
                                                        Backyard
                                                          Quarter-moon
            door
                                        Used by
                                              The cousins brothers
            sisters

            Mom
                                                           All there
                                                            For the roof
                                                            The roof
            yesterday
                                                             The roof
            today
                                                              All under
            one roof

James McGurk age 78 Merritt Island Fl

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