Gary Beck brings a poem on love and fire.Current Occupation: Graduate Student in Creative Writing
Former Occupation: Office Associate, Call Center Representative, Rural Electrician
Contact Information: Jeremy Caldwell lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. He has poems and reviews published or forthcoming in Poetry Quarterly, Tule Review, Drunk Monkey's, and Prairie Schooner. He's currently pursuing a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Library Book Mender
This man's profession is an old one,
and soon, will disappear.
The large cast-iron board shears he uses
will go the way of print photos,
and in a former life may have sliced
cereal boxes, but now
wears dust like a cheap nightgown.
In the old days he says now,
he would use needles to shoot
wheat paste into cover corners,
and screws, tight as ticks,
to hold weathered pages
while the glue dried.
The days of repairing and replacing
can be counted on fingers,
the same fingers I imagine
as warm and inviting, yet rough
and calloused like a deckle edge,
working on his last day,
with his last book, where he remembers,
like always, nothing about it,
but knows he's staved off time
just a little longer.
Contractors Replacing a Gutter
Across the street, there are two of them
with worn jeans and flapping tool belts,
carrying clinking ladders, clacking aluminum,
emptying them on the ground like cigarette butts,
as the sun shrinks islands of ice on sidewalk squares,
where only us humans seem confused this may last.
As they stand, shifting rock salt on the driveway
one eyes the edge of the roof, growing stern
and contemplative, waving a strong hand
of measuring tape at the bare rim, while the other
looks up, knowing a slight drizzle
won't wash their problems away.