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Christopher Title


On the roof of the barn,
the old man in tattered
coveralls will rope him–
self to the cupola,
then haul up a bucket
of red paint and a brush.

He’ll set a knee against
the tin roof to steady,
and carefully apply
the paint as not to muss
any of the fine trim.

He’ll work his way around
while the bug-eyed in cars
gape as they drive by slow,
getting it in the cracks
and slats until it’s done.

He’ll straddle on over
the ridge, and drop it all
off the pitch and return
to sit next to his work,
look long upon the world.

He’ll see down in the woods,
hickory and cedar,
immobile in the still,
air-light of the sunrise,
cool in the dewy shade.

He’ll turn his wrinkled head,
gaze back at the empty
farmhouse, and the tree-line,
the place he’d shared with her
for fifty seven years.

His eyes will drift over
the garden, remember
the round curve of her back
and the puff of white hair
as she worked her way up
and down the rows of beans.

He will climb off the roof
and amble to the house
and down in the cellar,
pull a mason jar off
the shelf and run fingers
across the label there.

He will replace the jar,
and go sit on the porch.
In silence, he will stare
out the window at the
cupola of the barn,
the ruddy color fast
in risen morning light.


Christopher Title lives and teaches in the Twin City area where he also produces Barbaric Yawp, an open mic reading series. His work has appeared in South Ash Press, Living Out, rock paper scissors, Asphalt Sky, and Konundrum Engine Literary Review.


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