Hunger Mountain - Vermont College Journal of the arts
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Interview with a Blacksmith

Jaen
by Chris Featherman

You already know God my head
is anvil these breaths your work
in the bellows my shoulders huge
and hunched from holding still
your precious gift in the roaring forge
and I hammer your daily hymn of ash
in the sun-stroked dust I work
from low-rising hallelujah sparks
to almond moons whirring
dusk in the groves deep in the vines
I forge steel from unconfessed
dew drips on the matinal thorns
a sirocco your gazette from Ceuta
the night a fig in an olive pit
my penitent kiss in the falling
peen the clenched tongs beatify
iron into steam my prayers for
Ave Maria a son the cooling pail
so shallow in my brutal hands
no chalice for these parched lips
for these dry cracked gloves
apprenticed into grip long ago
no mercy for my wine-stained apron
hung neatly in a twisted carob tree


Read These Gifts (letter to Brooklyn During War) by Chris Featherman

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