The power saws of my childhood
sneak into the wind, great whirling
motors spitting dust, soft
and clinging to the hair of my arms,
transforming me from child
to Nordic beast, wild curls of blonde
lumber blurring my edges.
My father’s leather-pouched belt
hovers by my ear, smelling of nails
and sweat, and the chalk of a snapped line
hangs in the long air behind me, marking
the path from here to the place
where I once placed fallen screws
in a blade-scarred hand, certain
what I offered
Alice Pettway’s work has appeared in over 30 print and online journals, including The Bitter Oleander, The Connecticut Review, Folio, Lullwater Review, Keyhole, and WomenArts Quarterly. Her chapbook, Barbed Wire and Bedclothes was published by Spire Press in 2009, and her full-length collection, The Time of Hunger | O Tempo de Chuva, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. Pettway is a former Lily Peter fellow, Raymond L. Barnes Poetry Award winner, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Currently, she lives and writes in Bogotá, Colombia.