Saturday, September 23, 2000

VERONICA'S FATHER, and MR RAUTIO'S HANDS — 2 poems

VERONICA'S FATHER

Veronica reads a poem
of her father's poor hands
eclipsed by fossil fuel
supernovaed for one brief second
circling the bread to illuminate
the mechanical soul of engines
how they were articulate
warriors of other muses,
those hands earning daily bread,
with darkness, cuticled in midnight oil
encircling the bread.


Lone Pine, CA
9/23/2000



MR RAUTIO'S HANDS

I was mesmerized by the shape
of Mr. Rautio's rubber hand
as he bent over the hood
of the old yellow school bus,
the gasoline bleaching it
to the color of sunlight.
How it radiated up his arm,
hidden by the mystery of cuff
and sleeve, curled as if in rest,
a dove of peace, by his side
as he performed delicate surgery
and the engine purred into life.

He escaped a world war
that had robbed him of his hand
and I thought of Caesar
who cut off the hands
of the last Aedui warriors,
in that final country of our ancestors,
to teach them a lesson.
What was taught, the lesson learned—
other than the defeat of a nation?
Stories of that one hand
had been given to another,
in a better time, a better place.

Lone Pine, CA
9/23/2000
added 10/16
slightly revised
(I couldn't read all of it).

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