The Bobcat excavator is back on the flatbed, foundation dug,
they are pouring footings for the addition to my house.
The young man who wheels and dumps barrow after barrow
of cement soup into a maze of trenches wears a shiny black
side arm. Maybe he’s headed to a rough bar after work and
wants the protection, or thinks he might have to stop
a carjacking, his or someone else’s. What good would it do
to shout over mounds of dirt and heavy gray rivers, to say
what—that I don’t allow firearms on my property—that I’m
puzzled as to why he wears a weapon among the fallen fences
and rusted swing sets of my neighborhood’s interlocking
backyards? The sun starts to set between the trees, rays drill
down into a floor of dead leaves. Soon bats will flit between
limbs to feed. We used to lie on our backs at dusk, toss pebbles
in the air, watch the small flyers swoop in anticipation of a morsel
of moth or mosquito, veering away at the last second, they fell
for the trick, again and again. The man has disappeared, a dull coat
forms on the cement surface. By tomorrow night it will harden
into various casts of the earth, imperfect, unchangeable.
JANE CRAVEN lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in systems development and as the director of a contemporary art museum. She was recently accepted into the North Carolina State University MFA-Poetry program and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Texas Review, The Columbia Review, Tar River Poetry, and Atlanta Review.