They’re pounding out the broken sewer line beneath the street
at the intersection of major roads by our house, day and night
men and women move earth, drill new wells to control groundwater,
lay pipe, footings the size of shattered memories to bypass
the damaged places.
We’re a country piecing ourselves together. Still, today, when Nancy
made it through surgery, half a lung gone, but breathing, and already
wanting to go home, when the phone rang with the good news
we jumped up and down for the technology that can restore,
for the lights that shine all night at the construction
site, the lights inside the rooms we operate in, for the men and women
who choose to learn this stuff, get dirty in it, for the clang and beep of
machines, for oxygen tubing, and tank holders, for the chance to breathe
deeply again, wade in a symphony of laughter, and there–listen to it–
amid the drone of boring and excavation, a wind chime.