bridgeA funny little man with a bent back and one foot—

the other he lost in the “big freeze of ’83”

while drinking the last of his Sterno

and breaking rock with a can of tuna—

smells of wood smoke and burning tires.


He runs calluses through his John the Baptist wave,

and says the denim in his jeans

is greased with the handshakes he’s had

since he picked those pants up

at the Salvation Army.


He mutters as he listens

to the semis snap steel plates above,

in his hand, he holds cards with tattered edges,

and crayon pictures, memories, he says,

of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Father’s Day.

Published by

Patrick Dobson

Patrick Dobson was founded in 1962. He is a writer, scholar, ironworker, and poet who lives in Kansas City, MO. He is author of two books with the University of Nebraska Press, Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plains (2009) and Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer (May 2015). Dobson is a work in progress until termination.

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