The shed is finished enough
to work in but has not yet
entirely revealed its purposes.
The shed is instead of entering the house
late at night, after an event,
is leaving the sleeping children in the care
of their sleeping father a little longer.
The shed is surrounded by apartment buildings,
is shielded somewhat by the grace of trees,
is both hidden and exposed.
The shed is an excellent place for reading
late at night, with wind rustling
through the leaves, music
turned low on a phone, not disturbing
neighbors passing in the alley.
The shed is for open doors and windows
and as much cross-breeze as possible
and probably also a fan, because let’s
be practical here. Eventually, we’ll
have to think about heat in winter.
The shed is not for playing solitary
video games. One was played
on the phone, and the shed was
resentful. It wants to fulfill
The shed doesn’t know if it
will be better for writing novels than
the front porch, or office, or
living room, or basement. The shed
doesn’t know why I wander
from one to the other, restlessly,
endlessly. No one does.
The shed is a still point
in a turning, talking, asking,
needing, hurting world.
The shed is an impossible luxury,
but far cheaper than abandoning
my family and running away
to the ocean, or the woods.
The shed probably wouldn’t be here
if it weren’t for cancer, both ways.
Cancer flays you down
to the exhausted bone; cancer
whispers, don’t wait any longer.
The shed exists because the men
in my life didn’t understand
why I wanted so badly to build a shed
but helped build it anyway.
The shed does not want to be called
a she-shed, because that sounds
ridiculous, but acknowledges
that there may be a reason
for the moniker. There may be
a reason why women in this world
might build a shed.
The shed is a poem
that is trying not to need
to justify its place in the world.
June 7, 2018