First Job

All evening I hunted
the bird that wanted
a cage of glass,
here where cemetery
slides into creek, fronting
what was once the largest
indoor leather mill in the world.
There the skins gathered
for cleansing, coloring,
scraping, shipping off.

It closed three years after
a lone sparrow set up camp
behind the only desk
in the only full-serve
service station left in town
where, from four to seven
nightly one summer,
I blackened the pages
of books with my thumbs.

Whatever it sought there—
thumping its frightened body
against glass, into cabinets
or out to the bays
scrubbed raw with gasoline
where the broken waited
to be raised up, hosed off,
fastened together in hope
of coughing to life again—
whatever it sought was not a dollar
slipped through a window cracked
because patronage was right
for the aging ladies of August to provide
from Chryslers cool in the sun.

There was nothing to be found
in books or boxes of parts.
And the tools hanging from pegs
were as useless as my hands,
which could not patch together
those straggling conveyances
any more than I could
with a tattered broom
batter the bird to freedom
as I swung at fluttering terror
as I sought with useless devices
some fortune reposed
in corners of grease and dust.

BY JOSEPH CAMPANA

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Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. The first job!amazIng!ahM?why dOes i acT adDic oH mY gOsh!cOz ralPh fiennes,ralph fiennes is sooo awesOme,oH im jUst sU jealOus bOut thE gIrls tHat yOud lOve ill tEll tHem yOur Too lUckY yOur sOo lUckY!untIl the goOdbYes stIll whAtEver hAppeNs tO raLph ill lOve hIm as mUch tIll nOw!!!i dnT carE oF if thE heK he’ll grEw oLd!evErybOdy wiLl!!ill stIll stand anD say i lOve tHis gUy(fiennes).<3tOo lUckY tO whOm gIrls tHat was lAyed WId hIm!!oMg ther sO lUckY they hAv ralPh wIth tHem!tOo mUch lOve mUaH!!LOv ya ralPh!


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