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Still Life with Occupational Hazards

I have killed rats
in their lairs under listing sheds,
and have tracked unrepentant termites
through the dark crumble
of masticated rot.

In my time I have knelt
over a forest of lumber,
my hammer sounding the framer’s prayer.
And I have slunk along the ridgelines
of teetering roofs on thankless tasks.

I’ve left blood on the job
by the hour and by the piece,
and have fought off exhaustion,
spasm and rage. Like so many of us,
I learn the hard way.

There are always occupational hazards,
and strands of decision to splice.

Saw axe sledge blade
hunger family child.

                                                             Published in
Nimrod International Journal

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