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  • Whosoever Holds This Hammer
  • Dawn Manning (bio)

Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.

Before sunrise, I’m at the bench, saw teeth sunk deep in a new sheet of silver, dust gilding my jeans in a sparkling snowscape, breath-fog on my glasses.

Outside the lab just beyond the thinning tree line, electronic church bells knell the hours, the gray lanes of the freeway string uneven beads of traffic

into unkempt tangles in the mall parking lot. I strike a strip of copper on the folded edge, chase out the air, force it to curl in on itself—

a nautilus whose molecules yield and spread out faster under my brass hammer than the inner unstruck ring can master. The sky’s dull and tarnished

by low snow clouds, flat and featureless as nickel. I chase my hammer across the plain, raise up bright mountains by the range—light the torch, coin my own sun. [End Page 79]

Dawn Manning

dawn manning is a writer and metalsmith living in Greater Philadelphia. She is the author of Postcards from the Dead Letter Office. She was the 2017 Mona Van Duyn Scholar in poetry to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and her poems have received the Beullah Rose Poetry Prize, the San Miguel Poetry Prize, and other honors.



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