I’ve Held the Globe (for Gramps)

I’ve held the globe
thread for vapour trails
of journies
each colour a route
pinned from Greece to Kenya
or St John’s Bay
is that Israel or Syria?

A blue loop with stops at
20 pins circumnavigates
a memory of connections
meals with colleagues
strangers and stewardesses

Red thread of elongated triangles
crosses over itself
making obtuse angles o’er Pacific
Tinian, Hawaii, Japan, Guam
a green line returns to Perth

Pins cover provinces and states
organized pushed with vigor and precision
Prague before velvet divorce
Cuba pre-Castro

Misnamed Indies several times
around Belize, Venezuela, Colombia, Paraguay
Paraguay why?
Was it a holiday steamer
or a recruiting mission?

Heavy machinery to militants, airplanes to diplomats or typewriters to rogues
a letter carried from a mexican ambassador from a round of golf decades before –
carried not as a prize but a pocket card – not an ace but a jack at least,
“This is to introduce my friend, please provide any due consideration.”

Outside the machines dig holes for bricks
disguising the drip and hum of apparatus
chest heaves so shallow,
mouth gapes, head askew,
hands, arms, fingers flush with fluid
ruddy, worn and odd
a man who worked with head and heart,
but little by his hands