Nails

by Jeremy Penna

Uncle Ivan got cancer, and he said his skin
got so soft the rain hitting it would leave a bruise.
I think that of today where only the angled breeze
crimping the puddle makes the dark rain
visible as it sprawls on the lawn, sops below.
Once, he lugged in the Atlantic cold,
the weather taxing holes in his gumshoes,
the iron boxes of nails to load on the hi-lo.
Come nails in the weather. Come nails down.
His laughter full of nails as he laughed alone
on the bed, skin mottled with jaundice,
hurting on the shore of himself, a snared fish.
Each thought hits and hits, now, without fail
the painful and exact nerve of the funny bone.


Jeremy Penna is currently rated the 31st best chess player in Delaware by the USCF but, as no United States Poetry Federation exists, is neither under nor overrated as a poet. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 2009 having studied philosophy and translation (and captained the chess team). His versions of a number of French, Latin, and Old English poems have appeared in small journals, and, in 2012, he was the winner of the Der Hovenassian Prize in translation. He is the founder of Moonbeam Tickseed, a poem-a-day list-serve. His original work has appeared variously, and he will be one of ten regional poets featured in the upcoming Delmarva Poetry Review.

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