Zoë Brigley Thompson

The Amish Roofers

Zoë Brigley Thompson

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When I turn the corner, they are up

there. The Amish men are on the roof, cool

and collarless in shirts and braces, some

with beards and others without. Most bend


double wielding hammers high, their thudding

irregular against stone or woodwork: raps

skidding over each other. A few wear

straw hats; some hang from ladders:


others crouch at the edge. The path goes right

by the brink of the sounds and I try

not to look when I pass, though

they gaze on me with praise


or disdain. The hot breeze gusts

over Tudek, long grasses buzzing

at my bare legs, and the blows

of mallets pounding down on me.


Zoë Brigley Thompson


Zoë Brigley Thompson, a native of Wales, is now Visiting Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University. She has two poetry collections The Secret (2007) and Conquest (2012), and her third poetry collection, Hand and Skull, will be published in 2019. In the past six months, her poems have been accepted by Poetry Ireland Review, Orion, The Manhattan Review, Permafrost, and the Tahoma Literary Review.