Roofs

By Stephen Sandy b. 1934 Stephen Sandy
Sewn straw, exact pattern. Fields of rice-sprigs
evenly set, a mile of herringbone tweed.
The town, a sea of gunmetal, fish-scale tiles.
 
By morning each floor a casserole of pillows,
coverlets, comforters, towels:    flown nests. Imprint
of bodies, fading. They fold the beds away,
the room waits empty all day.
                                                       All day the bodies
circle, leaving no impression on each
other. Tooled in the foundry of the streets.
School-caps, factory-packed subway, miracle train:
one territorial imperative,
an emperor’s.
                          On his platform one yard square
perched on a roof that slopes in waves of tiles
up toward other tiled cascades, the karate student
for  hours does running in place, deep knee bends
on his surfboard perch. All his free time to make
his body efficient, tight, exact, rising
and falling, mint piston pumping in its shaft.

Stephen Sandy, “Roofs” from The Thread. Copyright © 1998 by Stephen Sandy. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: The Thread (Louisiana State University Press, 1998)

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Poet Stephen Sandy b. 1934

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Living, The Body, Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Arts & Sciences, Architecture & Design, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Stephen  Sandy

Biography

Stephen Sandy studied poetry with Robert Lowell and Archibald MacLeish, earned a PhD from Harvard University, and traveled to Japan on a Fulbright Visiting Lectureship. He is the author of more than a half dozen collections of poetry and has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Council on the Arts, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation.

Stephen Sandy’s collections include Riding to . . .

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SUBJECT Living, The Body, Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Arts & Sciences, Architecture & Design, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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