This week’s poem is filled with good words from the world of work: nail heads, tunks, yanks, bricks. The person talking to us in this poem doesn’t tell us exactly what to think; he notices the different ways that rough edges are dulled. He implies that, having moved to town from further out, he misses the rough edges, the wild and imperfect beauty of the country.

Tom Moore has published three collections, “The Bolt Cutters,” “Chet Sawing” and “Saving Nails,” and lives with his wife, Leslie, an artist and writer, in Belfast.

Rough Edges

By Thomas R. Moore

In the new room the sheet-rocker’s knife

makes soothing sounds as he smooths

the mud over the tape and the nail heads,

occasional tunks as he scoops more compound

off the hawk. It’s June, drying weather,

the trees dropping yellow pollen. The morning

sky is the blue of our fading forget-me-nots.

We are strangers to town, to mowers and

blowers, to lighted windows. No bear yanks

down our bird feeder. Bricks arrange our

front walk. We become like our neighbors:

polite, wary—our rough edges dulled. So with

the hulls in the harbor, the genteel curves,

the sloops and schooners of spectacular beauty.

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is Portland’s poet laureate. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2016 Thomas R. Moore. It appears here by permission of the author.

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