Rebuilding the Shed in the Backyard - Again

Written by: Judith Angell Meyer

My son is out fixing up the shed.
Winter is coming on. Needed doing he said.
He had the time and the bound-to’s.
I’m not used to this thought process, I’m not. Not from a child.

I watch him for a while.
Opening and closing gates as needed.
The dust, sifted into powder from summer’s heat, poof’s with his steps.
The heels of his jeans dragging strings on the ground, erase the tread of his 
boots.

The shed is old. There is algae or lichen on the north side boards,
where the wood is splintery gray.
Some of the lichen florets are the color of sage, some the color of a bright orange 
rust,
Circled with gray ones and black, their life cycle played out.

He hammers nails and screws in screws while holding boards in place.
Sweat glistening where skin is exposed, making long dark stains in his black 
shirt.
Veins standing out against the strain, and
Muscles laboring to prove he can do the job well, without a mother’s help.

While he works I think about his father and how differently they work.
His father preferring team work and orchestrated smooth motion
working side by side, no extra movements – and he whistled.
My son needs to prove his skills first – alone.

The shed is done and it will brave another winter, keeping the horses sheltered 
from the elements.
The wind, snow and horses milling about, will obliterate the trail of pant cuffs, 
Along with the memory of one cool day at the end of summer, 
When a man worked hard to rebuild their shelter.