Traces of Yesterday

far from the coal mines
where all faces were black
blinking diamonds
on hard hats
surrounded by shovelfuls
of darkness

far from the fields
and the stoop labor
where camps
were always full
where pockets and
stomachs stayed empty
and coffee brown eyes
were too proud to cry

far from people
living across town
playing bridge games
their manicured nails
un calloused hands
leafing through travel brochures

far from Nebraska
where smooth bronze skin
became leather tough
sweat rained on
sugar beet fields
thinned neatly
with short handled hoes
and cold winters blanketed
everything in flour white

far from grandma's cooking
home made tortillas
MY GAL SUNDAY on radio
playing hockey
using a stick and beer can
hunting with grandpa
a pheasant for Thanksgiving
having rabbit instead
back pages so far away
and yet as close to me
as my shadow

-- Henry G., Adult