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