Veronica Patterson

Make Shift

—photograph, Hamza Al-Ajweh/AFP

Loveland Reporter-Herald, February 24, 2018

I thought it was a sculpture in progress,
clay, a commission, this figure of a man sitting,
to commemorate someone who had died.
A worker or labor leader, I thought, strong
facial bones, work clothes wrinkled and stained.
I couldn’t read his expression. The young men
in blue gathered around the figure were finalizing
the piece for the next step.


The fingers

of the figure’s right hand were splayed

on his knee, but one finger had a splash of red.

The eyes, I noticed, had whites. I read the caption:

“A wounded Syrian man saved from the rubble.”

Then, the medical workers’ clear gloves shone

as they attended to a wound on his back

at the makeshift hospital. Not a lost-wax

process. No casting, no foundry. I thought

it was a sculpture, I thought he was clay.

                           The Colorado Independent


© Copyright Veronica Patterson 2018. All Rights Reserved