the gear turner’s burden
is a wrench and lonely work
on the plains beyond
old 66 where grass

fire prays the flowers
into smoke he turns
his shoulder to his work

where he sweats the ground
grows mud he knows
the hoarse and tired voices
calling from the gears

creaking aching groaning
rusty throats and steel tongues

pinned and staked
burned and buried all the years
forgotten when the earth closed
healing on their work
in strange articulation

the gear turner hears a song
the old machines the old machines
he’ll whisper to the others
when evening fires burn low

he’ll creak and groan
in steel tongue stolen
riddles to their questions

This is another poem based on the image in The Mag #109. I did another one from this same photo last year.