Sunday, June 21, 2009

my grandfather's hands

my grandfather's hand reach through the thick
steam clouds of America's great iron horses
strong, weathered hands covered in the black crust
of coal dust immune to hot water and lye suds

our fingertips have never met over the years and
tears that flow between the calluses and carpal tunnel
a daughter's freedom fight waged against the old country
rigidity and bigotry smothered the familial and losers all

yet so much of me is scorched by the railroad steel and
the Pennsylvania soil toiled by Germanic stoicism
i am he cupped in those hands that reach silently
he is me flowing through fingertips onto starkness silently

silent stoicism brands us through the centuries with
destruction stil to the familial with only the hope that
past century's lessons learned will last and at last
conquer the stubborn Attila the Hun barbarianism

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