The Life Never Lived

Ronald Moran

When they ask what I want for a gift day,

I wish

I could tell my grandchildren, and my own,


get me a sander, planer, saw, or ball ping


or a set of socket wrenches or, hey, even

a screwdriver.

When I was first married I worked full-time

in a factory,

learning how to operate machines: grinders,


what a misfortune—all I could do with any


was to clean off precision parts in Varsol,


took all the hairs off my hands. First time

I picked

up debris under machines, as all apprentices


I grabbed the steel shavings with my hands,


and my blood dripped like leaking faucets.

When I came

home nights, my fingers, lumpy and cut,

my ego––

if not bruised, at least battered around––

I smiled

sheepishly at my beloved bride who, not

smiling back,

said, You want a beer or you want to eat,

I said, OK.


Richard MoranRonald Moran‘s latest collection of poems (13 in all) was just published by Clemson University Press under the title Eye of the World. He’s got a handful of nice awards and, with his 400+ poems, he’s been in a lot of journals.