Labor Poem #17

Life Safety System Crew

The campus is celebrating the opening of the $162.3
million Stanley Hall … [an] 11 story building, three floors
of which are below ground…. The exterior … is clad in
Sierra white granite and copper….

UC Berkeley press release, September 2007.

The face around his eyes: Eric, Dave, maybe
an 8 foot ladder. All-job safety, bull-horn, in front.
Hundreds of us for the bull-horn meetings.
My journeyman. Maybe an 8 footer,
they were talking, Ryan. In the front, to be clad
in Sierra white granite and copper. On
my shoulder, Eric, Dave, the face around. “I
think I’ll call you Kosher boy,” Ryan, smiling.
Hundreds of us in front, for the bull-horn.
And copper. Talking about me, when I charged
down, the face around his eyes got wide. Down
the hall, they were, all-job safety, maybe
a ladder on my shoulder, Kosher, when I
charged. Eric, Sierra white. Eyes got wide.

Dan Alter’s poems have lately been published in Burnside Review, Field, Fourteen Hills, Pank, and Zyzzyva among others. He lives with wife and daughter in Berkeley and makes his living as an electrician. He holds an MFA from Saint Mary’s College. https://danalter.net