From Spring Cleaning, published 2015.


The rails of the wood fence.
Rain yesterday and today my hands
rest on the top rail.
I feel the layers in the wood
all the way through it and out the other side
fingernail-scraping soft and wet
on the surface
Solid and compact inside.
Time will pass
It will run through every inch of this rail
The fence will get to feeling the rain and soften up
so gently and quietly that
one day
the fence
it will find itself
broken in pieces and lying on the ground
It will still be a surprise
though not unexpected.
I can feel all of this right now
this morning
laying my hands on the wet fence rail.

Fence at Lorimer Park, digital photo with enhancements.


13 thoughts on “Forecast

  1. Wonderfully evocative. I love the idea of layers in this poem, with the water seeping through the layers of wood and the layering of time as the fence slowly decays.

  2. Thank you. I wrote this about the fence at the Pennypack trailhead at Lorimer park, where I often use the fence to support myself as I stretch out after running, and so I have my hands on it. This is just what I thought as I did it. There is a whole lifetime in a touch, sometimes.

  3. Oh, that makes me feel good. I felt the same way, this poem coming from the fence I hold on to to support myself while stretching after running at the trail, and this came to me, holding on to it. Kind of a connection, almost, the thought poured into me with that touch. Maybe crazy, a fence talking to me, right, but it opened a view. That made a real impression on me right that minute.

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