Two poems – Howie Good

Howie Good

Only the Poor Have Dirty Hands

I worked after school and over Christmas
and during the summer, all sorts of shitty jobs,
washing dishes, unloading semi-trailers,
alphabetizing files in an office, driving a taxi,
once even clearing a field for an old farmer
who stared skeptically at my shoulder-length hair,
the sun a torturer’s cigarette being ground out
on my back as I hacked at weeds with a sickle
and no bugs or birds sang but all around me
and seemingly forever the very air itself blazed.


Back and forth, back and forth,
the sparrow shuttles back and forth,
now with grass clippings,
now with a broken twig,
and despite my heart weeping
like a lonely cow at dawn.

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