Little Mester

He brought the world in through the door,

the caustic bite of his workman’s clothes,

walnut hands, rheumatic, worn,

the gleam of Brylcreemed hair.


Apprenticed early to the wheel,

concealed by shadow, posture bent,

he worked through years of filthy steel,

corrosive air, discontent.


At sixty-five, he’d earned a watch

to mark his steadfast loyalty,

one collapsed and cancerous lung,

and a canteen of cutlery.

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