Saturday, January 7, 2012

Poem : The Fortuneteller

The Fortuneteller’s eyes narrow
Struggling to foresee what the future might be
On the hands of the workin’ man
Broken and cracked from pushing a shovel
Blistered by the swing of a sledgehammer
Worn and weathered from gripping a buzz saw
As its jagged teeth chew through rough-cut timber
The sap covered hands of the pulpwood cutter are impossible to read
Masking his sight-lines the sticky resin does do
Missing fingers tell a story not familiar with fortune
Hands scared by a life lived in labor
A mishap here
A mishap there
When overtime outweighs fatigue
When exhaustion overcomes reason
When coffee and cigarettes start the day before sunrise
And the sun falls before the last timecard is punched
The fortune is hard to read in the sweat soaked eyes of a steel man
Twelve hours welding in a shipyard did he
Fusing metal with sunlight on a stick
Fading his eyes to an unreadable gaze
Breathing hot iron fumes swirling around him
Rusty lungs are just part of the gig
His blue tip wrench cutting steel with ease
The fortuneteller struggles to read any sign but a future filled with scars and sweat
But sees the working-class living free
Far from the sharp teeth of fortune

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