Sunday, 24 February 2019 19:58

Another kind of beauty

Written by
in Poetry
754
Another kind of beauty

Another kind of beauty

by Fred Voss

The young woman
stands at the Bridgeport mill
in the cold machine shop morning air she has pulled the hood of her jacket over
her head
baggy work pants and shirt big work boots cover
her body
only her face and hands stick out for us men machinists to see and they
are beautiful
but the razor-sharp cutter fits her hands
the cutter holder
in the machine spindle fits her palm as her fingers wrap around an Allen wrench
and tighten the holder’s locknut
onto the cutter with all the muscle
in her arm and back
and she is not here for us to see her shapely body
or shiny long black beautiful hair
she is Rosa Parks firmly planting her black feet in the front of the bus
Norma Rae
defying the bosses standing up on her textile factory workbench holding the “UNION” sign
high above her head
for all the workers to see
Spartacus
leading the slave rebellion Emma Goldman
leading the suffragettes King
leading the freedom march out of Selma because we are all
human beings
unbeaten unbroken
her smile
unstoppable as the sunlight breaking through
a storm cloud
her hands
turning machine handles like she was born to turn them
the young woman is inevitable
as the Grand Canyon revolutionary
as Galileo’s telescope beautiful
as Madam Curie accepting
the Nobel Prize and every dream that ever
came true.

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Fred Voss

Fred Voss, a machinist for 32 years, has had three collections of poetry published by the UK’s Bloodaxe Books. His latest booklet is The Earth and the Stars in the Palm of Our Hand, published by Culture Matters.