The Forge

To at last be indestructible, a poem
Must first glow, almost flammable, upon
A thing inert, as gray, as dull as stone,

Then bend this way and that, and slowly cool
At arms-length, something irreducible
Drawn out with caution, toughened in a pool

Of water so contrary just a hiss
Escapes it-water instantly a mist.
It writhes, a thing of senseless shapelessness…

And then the driven hammer falls and falls.
The horses prick their ears in nearby stalls.
A soldier on his cot leans back and smiles.

A sound of ancient import, with the ring
Of honest labor, sings of fashioning.

Originally published by The Chariton Review

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The Forge