Made of Steele

Teagan Steele-Fisher

tied up in brackets,
in sod, in sheetrock, in caulking,
in laying cement and
roofing and all the rest—

killed your body
covered in diesel dust and soot
two sets of pants for the day
and a photo to remember the grime

"one time," you said,
"all I had to eat for the day
was a warm coke and apple
thrown at me out of a sixteen-wheeler window"

eighteen-hour days and overnights
stretched your pennies and
laid your head to rest only when
you were the last man standing

the other day we drove by
a five-story parking garage in Sacramento
and you told me you had built it
and I watched as the Audis drove in

"I never knew you," I told you,
"but I think you thought you had
to do this for us, and you did, but
the world can be different” and you sighed at me

sometimes parents aren’t there,
but other times they are there
yet never awake enough
to riot or even say hello