The Engineer

The Engineer

Love was his real work
A Depression child
He raised seven dogs
Worked fifty one-hours a week
Three dollars pay
Age fourteen

He stood short
Thick arms
Squat legs
Paperhanger strong
Small enough for tail gunner
He ripped up those orders
Survived the war
His mates fell in frozen trenches
Returned to love one woman

Terrifying his wife to move
She thought leaving Brooklyn
Meant losing her soul
She kept it

His head a music box
Chords called his moods
Far better than words
Words could be bent
He was ramrod straight

Animals came to him
Women studied him
Colleagues saw a man they could use
And did
He wanted to hate them

When it was too late
The ice-machine surgeon froze the cancer
Burned through his guts
Plastic clamp to stop his piss
He hated pain
Of that he learned too much

At the end
He who’d do anything to live
Said if you love me get me a gun
I’m no son-of-a-gun
But death became his wish

What does one leave?
A craving for kindness
A yearning long as one’s memory lasts

All that you forget
Forms ice mountains
Glowing underground
Shining above what’s lost