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      (for my husband)
by Kristin Roedell

There are men who are
like songbirds,
they come with ballads
about flowers and stars;
but I want a man who can
measure a beam with his eye,
and climb a ladder
with a bucket of paint.

I want a man who makes love
like he puts on a roof;
a woman’s body is not more
complicated than that.
I long to be stroked
as a plank of pale pine,
my hanging hair doubling
like rings within wood.

I want to be touched
by a man who can gauge
the arch of my foot
with a glance;
there is no ballad more true
than a brown back laboring,
slick in the
afternoon sun.


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