The Color of Ashes
The soap factory, vacant in morning light.
Not a soul but the watchman dozing
in dreamless, coffee-restless sleep.
A Far East container ship in port, buoyed
and anchored, the water line a demarcation
of a full hold. Only the rust-copper of rail cars
different from the absent, quiet sea.
A woman picking up empties
in the parking lot of last night’s bar,
gravel turning over, masking the dirt
underneath, she quietly hums plaintive blues
into morning’s luck while her only son
dreams at home, curled around an old
stuffed bear, hoping mom brings porridge
home for breakfast, and hot for once.
There is no word in Japanese for grey.
They say it’s the color of ashes,
the color of a working man’s hymn.
About the author:
Tobi Alfier is a five-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Her most current chapbooks are The Coincidence of Castles from Glass Lyre Press, and Romance and Rust from Blue Horse Press. Her collaborative full-length collection, The Color of Forgiveness, is available from Mojave River Press. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review.