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The Other Lineman

An accident occurred

A good man lost his life

A wife lost her husband

A child lost their dad


We never talk about the other lineman

He has to put the accident behind him

Tomorrow he wood walks again

A few days later he stands at a funeral


People talk to him about an accident

He hasn’t processed yet

He hasn’t figured out what happened

He can’t remember


Life calls


Was the mistake due to something I did

Can I do this today


There is a hole inside

The accident is all he sees


The hollow eyes

The sleep that never comes

The explosion in his face


When the ambulance pulled the blanket over the face

A blink of an eye


Fellow troubleman every time he walked up to a house

he carried all his gear


Cancer took him


Seeing a man who got hit in the face

with a tree saw


We went to dinner afterwards

with all those teeth marks on his face


 Walked with men

who were scared of the dark


I have seen fear in lineman’s faces


Watched men laugh


Watched lineman wipe tears


Saw a guy go to the heart doctor

and get a clean bill of health

one week later he died of a heart attack


Saw a man come in

after a fellow line hand on his crew died


His eyes were hollow


Watched men retire relieved they made it


Saw men give up the line

and do other things


Sometimes I wonder what I missed other times

I am very aware I don’t want to know


The Other Lineman


The one left behind

Thomas H Palmer II


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