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  • Danielle Hayden

Just discovered this poem yesterday and I love it


The Shipfitter's Wife


by Dorianne Laux


I loved him most

when he came home from work,

his fingers still curled from fitting pipe,

his denim shirt ringed with sweat

and smelling of salt, the drying weeds

of the ocean. I’d go to where he sat

on the edge of the bed, his forehead

anointed with grease, his cracked hands

jammed between his thighs, and unlace

the steel-toed boots, stroke his ankles

and calves, the pads and bones of his feet.

Then I’d open his clothes and take

the whole day inside me — the ship’s

gray sides, the miles of copper pipe,

the voice of the foreman clanging

off the hull’s silver ribs. Spark of lead

kissing metal. The clamp, the winch,

the white fire of the torch, the whistle,

and the long drive home.

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