Monday, 06 July 2020 07:00

Ready to Go to Work

Written by
in Poetry
Ready to Go to Work

Ready to Go to Work

by Fred Voss

A machinist bites into his morning apple
as the sun rises
on his workbench before him are 1/8th to ½-inch Allen wrenches
for turning socket-head cap screws
5/16th to 1-and-¼-inch crescent wrenches for turning any hex-nut
in the shop
and the apple in his mouth is sweet as its juice drips from his lips to the concrete floor
              and he knows
he can do anything with his tools
as birds chirp on a telephone wire and asteroids float in outer space
why can’t politics
be as cut and dried
as the calibration marks on his machine dials
nuclear test-ban treaties negotiated
as easily as he can indicate a vise parallel
on his machine table
for ships rockets tubas fire hydrants microscopes elevators
toasters and skyscrapers can be made
on the lathes and mills and surface grinders around this machine shop
and with the morning kiss of his wife
and the photo of his granddaughter taped to the inside of his toolbox lid
the machinist strides like the black panther
stands poised
over his vise like a heron hunting
over a pool of water
a hundred meteors striking the earth one billion years ago in the block of steel
he is about to cut
the apple
that made Newton see gravity stretched to the stars
in his hand
the machinist takes his last bite of the apple
and tosses the core into a trash can and wonders
why can’t
all the children starving in this world be fed
all the homeless
standing on street corners housed all the oceans cleaned all the lights turned on
by windmills
and the machinist rolls his thumb across the worm screw in his red adjustable crescent wrench
and fits its jaws around a big hex-nut and wishes
someone would give him the blueprint
so he could make
a better world.

Read 1429 times Last modified on Monday, 06 July 2020 07:13
Fred Voss

Fred Voss, a machinist for 35 years, has had three collections of poetry published by Bloodaxe Books, and two by Culture Matters: The Earth and the Stars in the Palm of Our Hand, and Robots Have No Bones.