Ann Arbor—University of Michigan Law School Building
72°, mostly sunny:
the crew lays down their orange vests
and sit down on the concrete steps,
setting their dust-covered work boots
on their white hardhats.
Rob pulls out a pack of Camels
and passes them around:
Danny strokes his stubble
as he lights up—
they all pull out their Tupperware and gorge
on last night's chicken and potatoes or their ham and cheese sandwiches,
wishing they had a cold Bud to wash it all down.
further down the street—
under the shade of a maple sapling—
Andy sits alone on the grass,
his balding head glistening with the rays.
the pasta is a little cold
but the sun is warm enough. he takes bites
and chews carefully,
wiping remnants of starch from his black mustache.
he cocks his head to the side, takes a sip
from his Thermos
and sets it down gently:
he reaches into his pocket
and pulls out a phone—outdated,
a smile upon his face as the person on the other line
how is work?
guess what Jake said earlier . . .
did you need me to pick up Sarah
from soccer today?
silence: and a grin sprouts upon
his livened face.
i miss you.
i can't wait
to see you tonight.
i was thinking of grilling out today;
it's so nice out here!
i just hope the rain
i miss you too.
i will see you tonight.
i love you.
he hangs up, places the phone back
in his jeans pocket—
looks up at the sunlight
in the leaves of the sapling:
the stone wall behind him shows his shadow
melding with the tree's.
he picks up his Tupperware
and his Thermos,
puts his vest and hardhat back on
and walks back over to the guys.
they say nothing to him.
there is really nothing they can say.