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Road Work
Tom Montag


Road crew -

The work takes
one man.

The watching,


This poem first appeared in The
Used here with the author's permission.




Tom Montag's newest book is In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. Raised on an Iowa farm, Tom is the author of numerous books, including Curlew: Home, a memoir about growing up; Kissing Poetry’s Sister, a collection of essays that examines the writing life and being a writer; The Idea of the Local, essays about people and place; Middle Ground, a collection of early poetry, and The Big Book of Ben Zen, a compilation of work from his Ben Zen poetry series. He also, with Peter Pizzino, co-wrote Peter’s Story, about growing up in Milwaukee’s Italian Third Ward during the 1920s-1930s. Tom posts a short poem every workday on his blog, The Middlewesterner ( and is at work on a long-term project about the Middlewest entitled Vagabond in the Middle ( He also writes lyrics for, and plays bass with, the folk/new roots group, Doc Abbick in Trinity (give a listen at and Though he retired at age 55 from a career in the printing industry so that he could write full-time, Tom admits that he still doesn’t know what he wants to do when he grows up.




Post New Comment:
At least!
Posted 08/05/2014 09:36 AM
my mom always said someone has to do the heavy onlooking.
Posted 08/05/2014 07:58 AM
Gary Busha:
Yes. Brief and to the point. Succinct. Yes.
Posted 08/05/2014 07:44 AM
Three, at least...always!!! Love it!
Posted 08/05/2014 07:05 AM
Love it!
Posted 08/04/2014 11:43 PM

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