Cranes

Who will live in these shipwrecked leper
colonies? The cranes, the workhorse
of the Industrial Revolution, crank
away without ceasing, heaving future walls
into place. Pre-fab has such a different
meaning now, as big trucks rumble
the concrete slabs across a nation.

In my office, I fold paper cranes
the way I learned long ago, at a justice
rally on the 40th anniversary of the Hiroshima
explosion or maybe for an installation art
piece made of stripped branches.

I write lines from poems on the paper
before I make the creases. I tuck these cranes
into the corners of my office building
and the chain link fence around the construction
site. I imagine them coming to life
at night, a constellation made of cranes
in a starless sky, a navigation
device that no one will need or notice.


Inspired by a Facebook post that noted the anniversary of John Carpenter’s “The Fog,” with its plot of ghosts of shipwrecked lepers and Dave Bonta’s “Finding my way In London,” with this quote: “…but the true avian symbol of the city is the crane.”

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