The sparks of protest fly as hammer pounds
To make a stubborn ingot sharper steel.
In pummeling, perfection will reveal
Its shifting shape with banging clanging sounds.
This repetition lasts for several rounds;
As smithy molds, the metal does appeal
For mercy from relentless hammer’s zeal;
The artisan, in answer, only frowns.
When flames are duly doused and metal cools,
The finished product’s polish is applied;
And, only then, the maker will decide
If labor’s love was worthy of his tools.
Its quality has thus identified
The difference in artisans and fools.
Randal A. Burd, Jr. is an educator who works with the disadvantaged in rural Missouri. He holds a master’s degree in English Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Missouri. Randal is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Sparks of Calliope magazine. He has been published by a variety of publications recently, including: The Amethyst Review, Ancient Paths Online, The Ekphrastic Review, Halftime Magazine, The Hypertexts, Nine Muses Poetry, Poetry Breakfast, Rue Scribe, Verse-Virtual, Vita Brevis, Westward Quarterly, The Writer's Cafe Magazine, Your Daily Poem, and others. Randal's collection, Memoirs of a Witness Tree, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in Summer 2020.