calloused bodies/soft souls

Poet: Esme Crillion

Miners in a cave
covered in soot, and tears
that staled upon
dad’s first lesson
about manhood,
are akin to the liver
that takes a beating,
which is like the lover
that couldn’t hurt a fly.
A ravine run dry
of water and gold,
requires a man
to sift with patience.
These cherokee drums
and the sap
from this old maple,
which is just as thin as water,
are just as full of life,
as your mother’s
round belly
on that sweet afternoon
some summers ago.