Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
About Simply Haiku
Winter 2009, vol 7 no 4
Being raised in Detroit during the 1950s & 60s
for me, meant being raised in the union.
moths spin 'round & 'round
a caged lightbulb
My maternal grandfather helped organize
the Ford Rouge Plant in the early 30s. His
friendship with Walter Ruether was forged
during street battles with Henry Ford's
He was fired & rehired three times from
Rouge. Old man Ford nicknamed gramps
"The Catholic Communist," a nickname
he carried with pride. My grandfather told
me many times, "The only place Marx
& Engels went wrong was in their inability
to see that Communism was a philosophical
& political descendent of Christ's Sermon
On The Mount. Marx & Engels didn't create
Communism, Jesus did."
the rainbow ends
at a union hall
My father was a steward in the United Steel
Workers Union. I can't count the number
of times our mother took my sisters & me to
deliver pea soup, ham sandwiches & potato
salad to dad & his friends when they
went out on strike.
wind blown snow the picket line holds
During the holidays we went to union Christmas
parties & our Christmas gifts were purchased
at the union toy store.
the department store Santa
makes a promise I can't keep
At the steel warehouse, dad operated an
overhead crane. His hook-up man, Frenchie,
had fought for the resistance during the war.
Frenchie had seven fingers, one eye, a frown
shaped scar on his throat & he was an
which side are you on
Frenchie was a down right ferocious man.
Looking back on it, had he told people that
he had survived The Paris Commune, they
probably would've believed him. Frenchie
had an aura of indestructability about him.
He was a working class super hero & he
was Santa at the union toy store on
My grandfather, father & Frenchie were men
of great strength, courage, compassion, & love.
The men who raised me were Union Men & I'll
be forever grateful.
the steel warehouse
filled with flowers
topaz & pink cashmere cable berets
tan & white mackinaws
maroon & mustard knee length scarves
white & blue day glo gloves
washed flannel lined blue jeans
soled blue suede hiking boots
moisture absorbent socks
withstand a winter's worth of hiking
the cab stand to the 34th floor
the Sears Tower
three sisters are blonde
proportioned with precision
three sisters have their left arms
palms up in a unified gesture
inviting me to join them
the other side of the glass
several glasses of wine
who knows what
their luminescent world
cotton snow & polyurethane birds
in the light of ten seventy-five watt
suns that shine & set every evening
nine-thirty sharp regardless
the sky or season
this cold rainy
Saturday of September.
the hole between holes
in a bag lady's bag
Ed Markowski lives and writes in Auburn Hills, Michigan. His poetry was featured at Cornell University's Mann Library in March of 2005.
Copyright 2009: Simply Haiku