Labor Poem #3
—Kibbutz Gesher Haziv, Bananas
With real bells and a clapper it rips up sleep.
Kibbutz-issue work boots. Bench seats, the men,
the cotton. Loose on the feet. In the back
of the work truck. Coffee spoon, ripped sleep, mist.
The men. The cotton, the back of, the men. Real bells.
Nuri from Kurdistan’s hot coffee spoon. Bench
seats, the men, the cotton turning from. When
you’re not looking, on your hand. The men who
live here, and his cackle. The cotton turning
from gray to brown. Kibbutz-issue, loose on
the feet. Coffee spoon, on your hand. And a
clapper. Nuri from Kurdistan, when you’re not.
The men. To brown, as the sun, and his cackle.
Real bells. The cotton turning, loose on the feet.
Dan Alter has poems published recently in The Burnside Review, Compose Journal, Field, and Zyzzyva, among others. He is a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. He lives in Berkeley, CA, with his wife and daughter, where he makes his living as an electrician while pursuing an MFA in poetry at Saint Mary’s College.