Field Notes...Am just back from a crazy, hectic, exhilarating week of residency at Goddard College and am diving into the numerous tasks here at home…including printing off an “A” boarding pass for my husband as he prepares to visit his stepfather tomorrow.
It will be a trip that reconnects the two of them. As I help him pack, I remember to slip a copy of STORIES OF STRENGTH inside his briefcase so he may share with his stepfather the poem he wrote in tribute to him. (The collection was edited by Jenna Glatzer in 2005 and dedicated to the Survivors of Hurricane Katrina.)
Hope you enjoy the poem. And that you may connect with your friends and loved ones soon.
THE WELD MAKER
written by Jan P. Myskowski
After each of those endless days riding
Bulldozers or loaders across the plains
Of construction sites, every one the same,
Pushing and pulling levers, pushing dirt
Into piles, lifting it onto the backs
Of trucks, before the days of heated cabs,
His relief was to crack a beer in the
Garage, throw the switch on the arc welder
And make a hitch or trailer frame for some
Friend he’d made himself indebted to just
For the excuse to lay those luminous
Beads, and make blue light flash rectangular
In the conifer trees that lined the drive.
Day after day he gave his body up
To the unforgiving sun, gunmetal
Cold, and long endured atrophy’s triumph.
So many days he walked stooped to his truck,
Lunchbox in hand, squinting all the way home.
But see him there now, large in his spark-proof
Jacket, long-cuffed gloves, the omnipotent,
Stoic mask, watching through the tinted glass
The firmament, formed as electrons jump
The arc to make steel know his intentions,
With flux smoke rising like greasy incense.
(Field photo above taken in the Quaker District of our small New Hampshire town by my husband.)