The Master Smith of Lyme Regis
He’s hidden your hands. Your hands!
One tucks into the crook of an elbow,
the other you’ve slid into a sleeve;
the bent wrist bulges with strength.
Your glance zings past my left cheek.
The corners of your mouth are
hidden by a bristly moustache.
Your smoky jacket barely
emerges from darkness, but you
are not hiding. You are present,
wry, patient and, I like to think,
thirsty for a pint or two in the pub
down a hilly street in your seaside town.
With hammer, tongs, skill and muscle,
you create horseshoes, harness fastenings,
ships’ tackle, fences, and tools.
Honest work for an honest man.
Bonnie Bishop's chapbook, O Crocodile, came out through Finishing Line Press in 2009. Her book Local Habitation was published by Every Other Thursday Poets, a long-running poetry workshop of which she has been a member for several decades. She has been interested in ekphrastic poetry for many years, using visual prompts in her own teaching and leading a workshop at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts for teachers on writing ekphrastic poems. This poem is from a series called "American Wing," based on 19th century paintings in the MFA.
The Ekphrastic Review
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