I live and and work in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I began writing poems when I was a child, inspired by my mother, Gladys Hasse, who also wrote poetry. My most recent collection is Earth’s Appetite, my fourth, which was published in 2013. Two poems from the book were read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. For more information, visit me at www.MargaretHasse.com.
Shouting from the Rooftop
I tore off asphalt shingles, shredded
old layers down to the bare wood,
replaced the rotten
of a house I bought
and learned to roof myself.
Boards wrenched from their nail-anchored
niches squawked like chickens.
I dislodged a sleepy bat from its crevice.
My arms and back proved strong enough
to drag a roll of tarpaper rung by rung
up a ladder, to move bundles of shingles
around on the tar-hot surface.
I gained a new vocabulary—flashing, flange,
metal drip edge, eaves.
I grew large among the crowns of trees.
A neighbor called up to me: Too bad
you don’t have a man to do that for you.
I looked way down at his body and its thin shadow,
waved, then turned back to the roof
I was making impervious to rain and snow.
I was twenty-two in 1972
and I was making it alone.
Those August evenings, when I had to come back
to earth again, I sat on the front stoop
flushed and full of hard work and a cool beer.
I never loved a house
or the ample abode of my body more.
-reprinted with permission from Earth’s Appetite by Margaret Hasse (Nodin Press, 2013)
©2015 Margaret Hasse