On Sunday afternoons in August, 

the streets and sidewalks 

of Fairview are empty and drowsy. 

The gentle buzz of weed wackers, 

dispersed every few blocks, 

cloaks the neighborhood 

with a musing white noise. 

Each yard tool operated by working men 

dressed in cut-off tees and gym shorts. 

In no apparent rush, they move with care 

along flower beds and chain-linked fences. 

Their shoulders slouched 

from the weight of the machine, 

their faces mute and expressionless, 

neither frustrated nor content, the mind given space to wander. 

It is the same face that stares

back through the mirror 

each Tuesday morning, while trimming 

stubble hidden beneath cheekbones. 

Back and forth, the massage of metal against skin, 

and the hum of the razor droning on and on, 

drowning out fears, longings, hopes: anything 

that tries to crop up. 

Christian Umbach

Christian Umbach is an urban planner/designer by trade residing in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Christian has always enjoyed writing both personally and professionally. His passion culminated in completing a Creative Writing minor at Allegheny College, in Meadville, PA. Christian’s poems are highly influenced by sense of place. As a diligent observer of all things both remarkable and mundane, Christian enjoys discovering the poetic images hidden within old plat maps, building facades, and astronomy textbooks.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN