In Massachusetts, air itself
is made of lye;
its wire brushes scrub the front
but spare the lee.

It scours the granite stones that line
the island beach,
corrodes the shells of horseshoe crabs,
blisters the birch.

Displaced, I miss the shabbiness
of cedar shingles
bleeding out, from red to gray
at shoreward angles,

rust that roughens up the steel
of warehouse walls,
the shipyard's reddened gray, the scab
that never heals.

Rose Kelleher is a computer programmer who lives in Maryland. Her poems have appeared in Anon, The Dark Horse, The Eleventh Muse, The Pacific Review, Snakeskin, Verse Daily, Worm and other publications.

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