For a New Roof


This will be the third roof I’ve had fastened to this house; the first

lasted over eighteen years, the second skin of shingles

only eleven before its jet edges cupped and curled

under the summer sun. Since this latest plating will outlast me,


I'm not sure why an old man should worry over just what brand

is written upon the sheaves arrayed in slabs along the peak,

or who should walk above me, roofing spade in hand, preparing

the high, angled field, as I will never witness the gravel’s  


gradual loosening, or see the shakes fishmouthed and lifted

by the wind, or watch the north face that’s shaded by the ash tree  

blossoming at last with moss and lichen. This almost seems


the sort of care you’d take when bundling up a loved one

to set them out alone into the night. But it’s the house,

tucked beneath this roof from eave to eave, that will be staying put. 



Kevin Casey's work has appeared recently in Rust+Moth, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Gulf Stream, and other publications. His chapbook The Wind Considers Everything was published last year by Flutter Press, and the full-length collection And Waking . . .  is due in late 2016 from Bottom Dog Press.