March 15, 2020 by The Citron Review

by Michael Lauchlan


I go to Casey Fence
on Dix near Central    near

freightlines and junkyards and trucker bars
    Used     I say     four feet by four

    Casey’s daughter smiles
from her desk in the dingy shop
Back of the yard     Find one that fits

    I make my way to pick
among the rusty webs    It’s late

and hot    but I dawdle
watching an old pick-up pull in

kicking dust into afternoon slants
    I hear lengths and dollars and hours
in what Spanish I can catch

    and return to the corrugated shop
where she’s starting to write them up
Light knifes through a single pane

and ignites the top
of her desk    her lithe hands.

She slips me clamps and bolts
and takes my bills    while the men
weigh issues of gauge and height

and a passing scrap hauler sends
a shudder through the floor


Michael Lauchlan has contributed to many publications, including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Sugar House Review, Louisville Review, Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, and Poetry Ireland. His most recent collection is Trumbull Ave., from WSU Press (2015).


One thought on “Gates

  1. says:

    Love this poem, Michael. I can really see everything in the flashes of light you give us.

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