Some spy the night sky
hunting dippers and bears,

but the moons he's roofed into,
the seventh decade of his earthly years,

have taken him in as he has them,
pounding without ceasing, keeping

a roof over his family's heads.
Securing his staging higher

and ever higher, he has earned
the constellation they see as his.

Roll after tarred roll, shingle
by glinting shingle, he has nailed down

his spirit which is to say nailed up,
giving all he has had to give

before turning to death. Worrying,
his wobbly wife takes up her kind

of night-hued felt, snips a black
silhouette top to their old ark

with its yee-yaw chimneys and eaves,
and hand stitches it across her

twilight's blue, neat as he's worked his
rows his whole life. Then sews

70 glittering specks, silver-cored glass
aurora borealis seed-beads, into a risen

Ladder and Hammer overhead
amidst a scattered starry surround

to show him how wondrous
he is to them, and what they, hereafter,

will see sparkling in the universe
he has repaired and repaired and repaired.

Patricia Smith Ranzoni

About the poet: Patricia Smith Ranzoni writes from one of the subsistence farms of her youth in Bucksport, Maine, where she and her husband tend the land tending them. This poem is from her 8th collection in progress, Bedding Vows, Love Poems from Outback Maine, to be published by North Country Press. The story of her writing can be found at Patricia Smith Ranzoni's story.