Terry Tierney is the author of The Poet’s Garage and the novels Lucky Ride (December 2021) and The Bridge on Beer River (July 2023), all published by Unsolicited Press. His poems have recently appeared in Rust and Moth, Typishly, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Lake and other publications. His website is http://terrytierney.com.
Cleaning Out the Shed
Dented camping lantern,
ash sock fallen away, gray dust
lying somewhere between my shed
and the frame that brought me here:
old Ford rusting under blackberry,
straining to escape on shredded tires.
I recall that summer I pitched my tent,
stakes piercing sod at precise angles
between rocks and manure,
fooling the wind, so proud,
rain wicking from canvas roof,
tiny sphere of guttering light.
Now my feet slip on plywood floor
greased by winters of leaking fuel,
my shoulders scratch nail points
and planks replaced year by year
until the shadows deny their origin.
Mud oozes through rotting boards,
thick and rusty, a mildew smell
pulling me deeper, walls collapsing
as if I might never leave this place.
Toes grip to hold my balance
through cracked leather sole.