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Bound to Happen

Text of Poem

At the haybarn’s peak where
rafters lock, a brace loosened,
probably from a push of wind. He
climbed the extension ladder rung
by rung for forty feet. I’m a bit
too old, he thought, to breathe
this air in comfort. Don’t look
down, he told himself, hammer in
the spikes. Praying for balance to
let his hands go free, he held one
spike and drove it in. Was it the
reverberations that made the ladder
tremble? He felt it shake again and
looking down, saw a nemesis formed in
a big black brood sow rubbing her back
against the ladder’s legs. He held
his breath and squinted, could he
drop the hammer straight enough to
hit her on the snout? The ladder
shook, he clutched the brace. Then
through a half-closed door he saw
his collie enter, spy the sow, start
creeping forward. Sweat blessed him
and his Angel said, At least now
something is bound to happen.

First Line
At the haybarn's peak where
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
New England Review (1978-1982) 111.3 (Spring 1981) 369.
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