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I dreamt I was sharpening tools
With a man I didn't know
In a quonset hut in Missouri.


He was a big man in bib overalls.
I was someone he knew's friend.
They weren't our tools.


It was so hot I was worried
I'd faint and cut my head
On some edge I'd just sharpened.


But what was harder to take than the heat
Was his silence. I asked him
His name, where he was from,


Whose tools we were
Sharpening, but he just kept
Spitting in their faces


Like Jesus to make them see,
Then setting them to the grinder
So they threw orange sparks


That dimmed in the dust
Like stars at dawn.
Only one of us stepped foot


Out of that shed to feel
The grasshoppers lurch
Against his legs as he swung


The scythe through the grass
Like a man looking for gold
Fillings at crash sites.

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