Spring 2015, Volume 18

Poetry by Phil Nast

This Old World

How else to explain that some folks here
shifting two-by-fours onto carts or pointing
to light fixtures or leaning on counters
while door keys are cut I know to be dead
except to assume the urge to do-it-yourself
is as strong in the next life as it is in this?
Are you reading your Hardy? asks Lorraine,
my 10th grade English teacher. She lugs
a gallon of pearl white gloss in each hand.
Herb swings a plumber’s wrench and a can
of WD-40, his puffy upper lip
a sign he still plays the slide trombone.
In threadbare coveralls, Joe wheels an attic fan
and whistles “Comin’ in on a Wing and a Prayer.”
I pay for my roll of duct tape and imagine
generations of retired souls tinkering
about the ether. Outside, in a sky crudely
brushed, a too-bright sun dangles. Clouds hang awry.




BIO: Phil Nast taught middle school in Ohio. For twenty years, he has been a freelance writer for textbooks and education websites. He lives in central New York.