Before this rented efficiency, there was peace. Before there was faucet and shower and fan. All hum, all coffeepot cough and dishwasher gurgle. Now this — construction dumpster kicked into agreement, hammered sides hammered in, hammered out — honking and beeping and jeering of yellow machines and green lifts and a variety of multi-mud excavators, their men boisterous with work and rage. Something squeaks by on wheels. More lumber in the dumpster, less peace on the planet. Then window glass breaking, metal thud of boards. O mighty dumpster taking all. Then train calling out frantically, eee! and eee! and woo! Now siren, now hysteria. Or is it laughter? [End Page 15]
Jennifer Newhouse teaches creative writing at Chowan University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Triquarterly, Lake Effect, Chattahoochee Review, SAND, Appalachian Heritage, and elsewhere.