Those knuckles rapped for careless work,
his index wrapped in dressing crepe,
that fore nail not so cuticle
as carpenter, a journeyman,
apprenticeship in tenon joints
when whirl met whorl in sinew slip,
grew tender metatarsal bruise
where block had fallen, hand to foot.
Ground shavings, curlings, piling pine,
blood sprinkled dust as butcher saw,
bone cuts when knuckledusters flew.
Leaking life liquid pulses through,
pain and prayers in outburst blues
and witnessed by the scarlet drape;
grip hold slammer, blow home hammer
to finger angle, face at fault,
to shoulder blame for slipshod slog.
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church due to Parkinson’s Disease, has had pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies, including Poetry Potion.
His blog is at https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/