Saturday, August 10, 2013

Vance, Keeper of Earthquakes

My buddy Vance is a pipe-fitter.
He'll hang a handrail, yeah,
but he's certified to sweat 
copper, silver and stainless.

Vance got a gig across the state line
from Leatherstocking
on the north PA shale shelf
running gas rig hydraulic drills.

The family stays back at Catskill
so he takes his time off at the tavern.
Like migrant pay, he says, isn't it,
while the pockets are pumped out,

the kids make it into middle school
and Vance smokes seven dollar-
a-pack shit cigarettes real slow
since there's no rush to retire.

We expect some Elmira coroner
will open Vance up eventually,
either his heart or lungs gone,
and find the destruction of Dimock.