Thunderbird

by John Stupp

Pig iron scrap limestone and coke
went into the melting furnace at Ford
and cooked until ladles poured hot soup
into casting molds over and over all day every day—
in the summer
the heat pounded you like a fist
and sparks bounced around like fireworks
I remember my grade school teacher
Sister Edward Marie
who said sanctifying grace
was God filling you inside
like a an engine block
then sending you on a conveyor
150 blocks an hour
to the cleaning room
to be ground smooth
your edges rasped by machines
then shaped and assembled for a drive
like a Thunderbird through hell—
God has his foot to the floor
she used to say
but your hands are on the wheel