MANUAL LABORS

 

 

Aaron Anstett

Mano 84.13.72

How many living hands have labored, worked
what humble instruments the labored work
of many hands to each day give us this,
whichever indexical, ravenous
us each day awakes? Stone a fashioned shape
suggests the shaping hands but more. The ground
the hands unearthed, the stones that struck the stone,
the wind that day or night or none, the stars
and moon and sun and how they were supposed.
"We need to eat," I think the first prayer goes,
but I'm American and ignorant,
each day amply fed. Plainly as I can,
in fingered meter, slapdash, awkward cant:
this stone stuns me, its color human skin.