after Toni Morrison
From 18-wheelers to coke-oven men, we rise at sunup.
We clean our faces by the light of kitchen sink curtains. To
wash, to work, to pay the sundown
costs, we give our lives a
softening — a shape and a balm.
What gifts we gather from the daily envelope — a
thoughtless coin procured by gentle
dreams and blistered hands. We touch
folded bills to hide them in shoeboxes or
blink to see them gone. When nuzzling
gives less comfort than tightening of
fists, we remember home and what she left of
our buttons, tins, and feathers. A welcoming sort.