The Machinist
(Put Something of Yourself into Your Work)

The hum and buzz of faster machines buoy her.
Decides brightness should be her default.
She unwraps a blood-red cuff from her wrist,
smoothes it onto the metal bed of her Jones Imperial.
Next, she reaches into the whiteness of her throat,
withdraws a vocal cord. A faint twang like an E string
causes her neighbour to incline her head.
She threads her needle with ease—a muscle memory
from decades—places heel and toe, fore and aft,
sets up the machinist’s rock.
Steel foot lowered, she feels the comfort of pain,
lets out a sigh as she begins to stitch.



Sarah Passingham started to write poetry to improve her prose, then found she couldn’t stop. Her latest book PUSH My Father, Polio, and Me is a family memoir published by Gatehouse Press