Artwork > Linocuts

a chiaroscuro linocut of a carpenter's hands straightening nails on an anvil with a hammer by Leslie Moore of PenPets. Cover illustraation of the book Saving Nails.
Saving Nails
Cover Illustration of Saving Nails
by Thomas R. Moore
Chiaroscuro Linocut
5" X 7"
2016

SAVING NAILS

I strip the porch roof, pick out the used
nails, and toss the shingles down onto

a drop-cloth, remembering when I shingled
my grandmother’s roof fifty years ago:

the tar smell, the brackets, planks, and
ladders all the same, but level now

with hemlock limbs instead of locust.
I lug four shingles up the ladder, kneel

and drive the old nails home, slide
another shingle into place, pound,

toes bent, knees creaking. Miserliness,
a friend jokes about the nails, but I call it

caring, thinking of the man who gave
us this land on the cove, the cottage, the boat-

house full of boats. The only time I saw
him he was at his work-bench, a rich

man straightening nails, moving from
the bent can to the anvil to the straight.

Thomas R. Moore