There he stands, a man of steel, a heart of gold, and a tarnish proof exterior
By Carol Pollock
The fire roared—hot steam, a golden glow, a shower of embers that seemed to burn into the soul, and the future of America poured into a sheet of white hot steel ...moves slowly toward its end.
A man stands, his back bared, the sweat makes his skin glisten and reflects the red of the furnace—his eyes in rhythm of his heart and breathing, his muscles strain—and once more the flames shoot high, and man stands small and insignificant below, marveling in what he has helped to create.
His hands are large, they grip the shovel with solidity and determination, that later comfort the small child who has found pain—a gentleness that has no end, nor a beginning, but is. A whistle blows, a hand removes the shovel, the man staggers into the air, breathes deeply and draws on the cigarette pressed against his lips. The eyes hurt, he closes them, something warm is in his hand, he gratefully takes the cup and drinks—the hot liquid as refreshing as the cold beverage he will consume when the shift is over. The whistle blows, he rises without comment and walks back to his work, erect and hopeful of the future...
“OK, you guys, let’s move out.” He shoulders, his pack, empties his cup, snuffs his cigarette, picks up the rifle and without comment, marches briskly forward, erect and hopeful of the future.