Clear Sky

I woke this morning to the clearest, deepest blue sky above the maple trees I think I've ever seen. Maybe it was the combination of the high summer green of the trees with the deep transparency of the sky. The only thing missing was that I didn't hear the loon's call, as we have off & on all summer, early in the mornings. Carole is riding in a horse show today, so she's gone all day. I'm shifting over from painting the dining room -- one set of tools & supplies -- to putting down a new bamboo floor -- another set of tools, including the rented Porta-nailer, an imposing machine (though one I've used before) that our Jack Russell Jet hates. In fact, he hates the hiss of all tools that run on compressed air & can work himself into a real fit of barking & if he's in the room, he will try to attack & bite the tool. So Jett & the other dogs will be upstairs or out back all day as I put flooring down. This is the last patch of floor in the house to be redone. It's only taken fifteen years! And when this room is completed in the next few days, the last of my major renovations will be complete. Sure, we still need to paint the living room & the bathroom is going to need a makeover, but all the basics will be in place. I thought when we bought the place it would take five years! I'm moving with slow deliberation today, though. In the first part of the floor there is going to be a fair amount of cutting & piecing. Tomorrow I should make good progress, but I doubt I'll finish before I have to take the nailer back on Monday morning. Since the first part of next week is taken up with meetings, a doctor's appointment, & a day with the car in the shop, I won't get the nailer again until next Friday. I ought to be able to finish the floor next weekend. That will be good timing because classes begin at the end of the month & I still have a fair amount to do to get ready.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

1 thought on “Clear Sky”

  1. Should We Have Stopped

    The hot pavement moves under us, mile after mile from the north, from the border crossing, and on toward home.

    The pavement angles and heads downhill, then the dip onto the surface of the bridge.

    From my vantage point of drivers seat, I crane my neck to the left to see a past friend’s house, barely visible, cloaked now by trees. River glistening in the forground.

    Sigh I think, oh well, I say.

    A second later, the arc of the road straightens, the haze from the hot pavement and dust from the shoulder create a mirage.
    Into our view trot, literally and figuratively, the past friends.

    They are there, in the shorts of summer, in hats, beard and pigtails, sunglasses and smiles and arms outstretched directly in front of their bodies, forming two tell-tale triangles that are the creation of a determined pair of dogs straining at the end of the leads. Two triangles side by side on the right side of the road.

    We wave. Past friends wave back.

    N wonders outloud. Should we have stopped?

    LvanH Sunday, June 29

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