The Dulling Patina of Honest Efforts

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Contributor: James Rudolph

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A fishmonger I smell
of the brine of daily grind
my hands coarse with
common purpose cannot
hide their long labor.

But he is a spice island find
from a legendary voyage
he came to you wrapped
in banana leaves to feed
on perishable fruits
of fantastical colors
his rich Tahitian skin
blackly bruises too easily.

In a mountain’s fastness
remote, unmapped,
in this granite’s keep
beats a heart part
a beefy quarter
red with love.

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James Robert Rudolph is a retired healthcare worker and teacher having returned to old haunts in northern New Mexico after a busy career in Minneapolis. He believes in old-style magical realism, that inspired by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the high desert, and the deep, broad sky of the American mountain west. His poems have appeared in The Artistic Muse, Mad Swirl, and Poetry Super Highway, among others.


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