The Machinist (or, Words are not Wonders, but Wrenches)


It starts with the vernacular.

Not father, not daddy, but Dad.



Almost sounds like Dead.

Dead dreams, deadlines. Dead daughters, sometimes.

Mostly doldrums, definitely not fun.

After the word comes the way. The way is his.

The lights are his, the water his. The home is his.

We are transient. We wait in hallways.

The barometer says Expectation but by dinner

it feels like Disappointment.

Following the way; the fall. All of my wishes are darts, I take aim.

I have but to speak and I am damned. My thoughts are his. My tongue is his.

Wait, these aren’t darts, they’re daggers. Once I made up my mind.

Now I make daggers for daddy.

I am a satisfaction machine. The specs are way off.

I haven’t seen a can of oil in ten damn years.

My belt is loose; the warped rubber rounds the wheel

again again again. The machinist has no bona fides.

He hammers me at intervals. I whine and whistle.

Until the night my flywheels fly and cogs can’t dance,

too late to start repairs, to care.

It’s not the fix, the big Dad’s eye.

My buzz and whir have slowed and died.

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