how like astronauts they look

these men and women

who stitch bedrock to the sky


carpenters, ironworkers,

jumpered against the cold, bound in slow-motion

over torn, heaved landscape


excavators, shovels, and backhoes

minuet with dump trucks and dynamite

to crush rock and rearrange the earth


architects and foremen gesture over tables,

chew cigars, eat sandwiches from bags,

their breaths hang in the air

as they interpret writ holy as old scrolls


a cloud of limestone dust sifts down

over operators, hod carriers, common laborers–

ancient sediments and fossils

transformed into the raw material

of hopes, dreams, and just plain work

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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