Frank Meintjies

Rookie - 120 Points (Rietvlei, South Africa)

Apprentice - Poem by Frank Meintjies

dressed in allover blue
the clocking of your card
momentary freeze-frame
your arm turns to blowtorch
surgically slicing metal plates
according to template
your head a sponge
sucking up expletives and metallic screeches
that you reckon bounce off, no sweat
till a smash on the foot, courtesy of falling hammers
unrivets your tongue
breaking some hinges
your ears are fake blotters
shredded by the
steady drizzling of iron filings
of sound
till there's just your mind
the small space kept lucid
in which to measure the angles
to separate yourself
from steel;

through the visor
your eyes hover, turn upward
to a crane on its runners
& below - the dazzling flame
spurting from your fingertip
chewing at rods
skingrafting flaps of metal
below - the chargehand
flexing his jaw, with curses and disdain
casually goading journeymen
to pound, tack, weld and grind
till they disintegrate & run or take it
and be cast
in the iron tipped boots of men

Topic(s) of this poem: growing up, work, youth

Form: Free Verse

Comments about Apprentice by Frank Meintjies

  • Edward Kofi Louis (12/17/2015 7:22:00 AM)

    Learning is part us. Nice work. (Report) Reply

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  • Della Perry (9/13/2015 8:31:00 AM)

    I like the imagery of a workplace and the noise and chaos that an apprentice would probably be fearful of on a first day, how they would return home a working man and no longer a boy! First days at work are scary. x (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, September 13, 2015

Poem Edited: Sunday, September 13, 2015

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