Yielding

Yielding

 

Yielding to the push of my fingertips

The door opens swinging easily.

In the mirror at the end of the hall

A black silhouette gold edged

A moon eyed trout.

Caught. Mesmorised.

By the blinding gleam

Of the poachers torch.

And in the same beam.

Entrapped and transfixed

in the cold white

Electric glare. A fluttering moth.

I stand there. Staring.

My own reflection before me.

I look myself up and down

From one side to the other.

From one hand to the other.

Workmen’s hands.

Shit, shit on this earth

Why do I have hands like those?

Those pathetic absurdities

Hanging limp and loose

Looking as though they’ve been stuck on

The ends of those stick thin brown wrists.

Thick fingered flesh.

Waiting to be used.

Something to be done with them.

Touched and turned over in them.

A rough edged stone perhaps

Warily feeling for smooth

Surfaces fingered, stroked and pressed.

 

Every morning I step off the train

I make my way through

The green drab coats of men

Their hands dangling

In the morning air

Limp-pink, washed and cleaned.

Forgotten, flapping.

 

And down there on the black beach

Down past the turmoil

Of smoke and steel

And the cauldrons of molten slag

A dead sea gulls wing

Half buried, left on the shore

After the high waves

Had at last receded.

Made to flap by the wind.

Grotesque as everything is there

As though it were imitating

Its’ own once beautiful flight

And deaths mockery all that is left

To remind of its once graceful past.

 

Silently men merge into lines

Following one another

Through the murky dawn

The sky not light with sun

Cars slowly move and churn

The dust on the road.

Brown dust that rises and falls

Continuously. Unnoticed.

Staining the rooves

Of the houses near

The looming hulk

Of the steel works.

And as cars speed out

Along the road

The dust swirls

Up into the air

And is turned

Into a thick brown cloud.

 

Each morning

As I make my way

To the steel works

It’s the same.

Head down. Eyes staring.

Old eyes staring now and then

At young faces that pass by

The night shift on its way home.

And from beneath the brim

Of cloth caps unseeing eyes

See everything.

 

The door swings shut behind me.

All is dark again.

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