ODE



Urn, your bronze lid

never opens.


---But seems to try to;

rears a knob


like a big sore thumb,

hitching a ride.


Like a deep sea polyp,

high and dry


and hollowed out

by the sunlight


in which you stand,

corroded green,


at square-shouldered

and pot-bellied


attention, empty,

tightened down


on your round foot

like a suction cup.




Or not quite empty.

Maybe a gallon


of not quite pure

Victorian air


went dark in there.

An odor, an odd


molecule

of manure, tobacco,


tuberculosis,

whatever the world


was breathing into

the foundry man


himself just then,

as he finished his weld,


trimmed back his flame

and moved on,


leaving you,

his iron lung.




          

                                  Salamander 12:2 (2007)