The Shingles

When he needed a new roof,
he kept the old shingles piled
beside his house. If you
rolled one in your hand,
it would crumble, the dust
lifting into the acceptance
of the air. He refused to haul
them away, believed ghosts
hid their stories there.

Some nights, when the moon
sends only a sliver through
the dark, we see a hundred
fires flickering over
the roof. And when
the wind lets go and
we are quiet and no
doors bang shut, we
can hear the beginning

of a story, and we try
to finish it, talking about
what each of us wanted
to be back then, as if we
never knew we’d be here.