Steinmetz at Thunderdome
All over the dome they cling to cheer on Tesla
tossing balls of flickering light, and here,
dragging Patent, his club, comes Edison.
No one notices the dwarf riding his back
because at a lumbering run he takes a swipe
at nimble Nickolai who bungees up
out of danger, dove wings fluttering.
The betting’s heavy, safe money on the giant,
but some engineers have a lurking fondness
for sparkle over plod. As for the kids,
well, Tesla was a genius, right? And failed,
so when they fail, that makes them geniuses!
And who doesn't love a mad scientist?
Besides, check your folklore. Giants never win.
But something's wrong. The lights are fading out
inside those balls, though Tesla’s juggling faster,
and there’s a growing smell of overheating.
Just as the last light dies there’s movement from
the giant’s rider and a lightning bolt
whiteblinds and deafens us
and Tesla’s gone.
The generators hum, a warm light grows
and we see Steinmetz directing Edison,
Steinmetz of the cigar, the beard, the smile
who, unlike Tesla, knew how to make things work.about the author