These are the ghosts that gather at dawn,
drawn to light and company: the men
who meet each day at the auto shop counter
to talk of work, of what can be kept working.
The mechanic’s second job
may be grading, cutting building sites
into the mountain where he grew up,
but he says his memories of being a child
in those woods are vivid, pronouncing the i
so it stretches long into a y, goes deep,
and buries itself in the earth again.
The truck driver (that’s what he does for money)
is truly a farrier and tells of the lame horse
he has come from treating. Just touching
the tendons of her legs, he could tell
she had a strain from standing in mud.
Of course, they feel the shifting ground.
On the hardest of mornings
in winter, they watch each other appear
through frosted windows, smoking
and so doubly clouded.
Lifting hands to mouths, they could be
blowing kisses good bye.