Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Road Breaker (Poem)

Road Breaker

      after Rockwell Kent's The Road Roller

The boss rides his crew late
into the deep freeze

of a wintry January afternoon
in 1909 New Hampshire.

In sledging season, he's got
no time for slip-shod clearing

of snow. Road-breaking takes
ground over gravity, muscled

men harnessed for the pull-
strength of a half-dozen horses

drafted to drag the monstrous
wood-planked barrel drums

that pack the road surface solid
for the sleighs and pungs.

This New England town intends
to marry every other before

spring thaw. Un-minding bone-
chilling wind, the men lumber

twenty-five miles over the roller
roads, smoothing the beds high.

© 2014 Maureen E. Doallas

Rockwell Kent, 1882-1971, American Painter, Printmaker, Illustrator, and Writer


Peggy Rosenthal said...

Great scene-painting, Maureen. I like especially how the heavy, plodding sounds of the words in these lines — "drafted to drag the monstrous/
wood-planked barrel drums" — give the very feel of what they're imaging.

nance.mdr said...

i like it all