Journeyman’s Wages

Clemens Starck

To the waters of the Willamette I come
in nearly perfect weather,
Monday morning
traffic backed up at the bridge
a bad sign.
                Be on the job at eight,
boots crunching in gravel;
cinch up the tool belt, string out the cords
to where we left off on Friday –
that stack of old 
form lumber, that bucket of rusty bolts
and those two beat-up sawhorses
wait patiently for us.
Gil is still drunk, red-eyed, pretending he’s not
and threatening to quit;
Gordon is studying the prints.
Slab on grade, tilt-up panels, Glu-lams
and trusses …
Boys, I’ve got an idea –
instead of a supermarket
why couldn’t this be a cathedral?