Robert Charles Howard
Jerry Singing At His Lathe - Poem by Robert Charles Howard
Slim and mustached
Jerry sang his heart out
In bib overalls at his lathe –
The Mario Lanza of Kent-Moore Tools.
Ribbons of curled metal gathered at his feet
As he cut hard steel into usable parts.
He glanced at the prints,
Reset the turret to take a second pass
And belted out another chorus.
Jerry retro-dreamed of New York,
Of lessons, certificates, Juilliard
And arias finished with outstretched arms –
Visions derailed but unforgotten.
Global madness sent him instead to France.
With a pack and an M1 in place of scores
Jerry helped set Paris free
Yet never set foot on its stages.
Kent-Moore paid him well
And masked by din of colliding metal
Jerry sang and sang and sang all day
For rivet guns and turret lathes.
His voice would melt your heart.
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