the same job

every day

that kills you.

He’d been at the foundry

since ’53,

now a hunchback

high on the union list.

I covered for him

while he went to Virginia Beach.

His only child was in ROTC.

He said

he just went to Vietnam.

I didn’t say anything.

I would have been scared

to be a soldier

but I could do this job

for Henry Ford.

For a week or two,

the lies

I told myself

would keep me going,

and the repetition would be lyrical

until I broke,

like anyone,

when he came back alone.




John Stupp is the author of the 2007 chapbook The Blue Pacific and the 2015 full-length collection Advice from the Bed of a Friend both by Main Street Rag. His new book Pawleys Island will be published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.