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


of manure, tobacco,


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)