She hops down from the dump truck’s crusty side
and climbs up into the earth mover as graceful
as a gymnast, pony tail bouncing
behind her John Deere baseball cap.
She wields the blade
of the machine and in minutes
levels a great mound of soil
into flat-out respect.
The admiration in which I held my ex-wife
comes to mind. How
when the pipes leaked
she slid under the sink
wrench in hand, saving the day
while I just held her flashlight.
But this is about a woman
who moves the earth
with just her fingers
on the leash of a great yellow beast,
and though she’ll never know,
holds me in the palm of her hand.
Bill Wunder’s poems have twice been nominated for The Pushcart Prize, and in 2004 he was named Poet Laureate of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His poems have been a finalist in The Robert Fraser Poetry Competition, The Mad Poet’s Society Competition twice, and The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards three times. He has previously been featured in Burningword Literary Journal and was included in Burningword Ninety-Nine, A Selected Anthology of Poetry 2001-2011.