Crossing a Construction Site
by William Doreski


Hot earth-smell thickens the breeze.
My footsteps feel too flimsy
to support me beyond the ditch
hacked across the intersection.

A power shovel groans and rasps
on monster treads, swiveling
to articulate a yard of muck
and a length of rusty sewer pipe

from a hole where a hardhat
flaunts one gloved paw. As I dodge
the machine, a young cop offers
to guide me, but I wave him off.

I'd rather not feel old enough
to deserve his blue-eyed concern.
My tracks dissolve behind me
as a dump truck rumbles over

the ditch and creeps closer to honk
a big hello. The cop laughs
and the hardhat down in the hole
semaphores both paws, and the shovel

drops a load in the dump truck,
which groans with pleasure, the hiss
of air brakes sneering as I run
the last few yards to pavement.


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