A Product of Our Environs

by Christine Adams Beckett

A carpenter, whose job
Is an inherently hopeful one
As builder, creator,
Useful, necessary,
Provider of a basic need of humanity,
Stands in the street,
Ready to board his truck.

His resting face is morose,
A triste – twist of upturned
Brows, long lower lids
And a prematurely wrinkled
Brow, permanently rumpled
In despair, proving an
Old Wives’ Tale as
True as the Word.

Don’t make that face,
Or it will stay that way!
As over time,
The most frequent expression
Becomes the fleshy standard
In locked lines, in curves, in mounds
Of flesh and muscle
Untouched by paralyzing toxins
But embraced by tattoos
That curl from below
The flannel collar of his stained shirt
And fastens an inked tear,
A dangling blip of blue that hangs
Precariously under his left eye,
Over the downturned corner
Of his dry, unloved lips.