Don Welch

Steel-Worker

From Inklings: Poems Old and New. Sandhill Press, 2001.

There was nothing eloquent about his fatigue.
The great biceps of his arms sagged,
the hernia was a fist of pain in his scrotum.

Beside him another man worked in a dream,
or seemed to stand, rather, in a place
of white grass where the sky was cool.

And as he watched, he seemed to see this man kneel,
placing his hands in the grass, then stand up.
But somehow, without reason, it was not enough

until one by one he saw them, too,
other men slipping out of their clothes,
their scars, their shoes.

Used with the permission of Don Welch