Two men in T-shirts are sun-roughened,
muscular in the non-gym way.
They know physical work.
On the window glass with a smudgy finger
the older man sketches a map from memory.
They speak of a trickling spring.
A field cleared by hand, a fence of stone.
Twin graves on a hill.
The younger man says, “That little mountain,
every time I set foot on it, I felt hugged.”
Embarrassed, they each look away
to the tarmac where jets are rolling.
Newark. Chicago. Some city. Now boarding.
Joe Cottonwood has built or repaired hundreds of houses in his day job as carpenter/contractor. Nights, he writes. His latest book is Foggy Dog: Poems of the Pacific Coast.
Photograph by Anlace.