Correspondence to: Anthony Buccino, CB Press, PO Box 110252, Nutley, NJ 07110; e-mail: email@example.com
No new buildings needed cripple joints,
or two by fours toed-in sixteen inches on center
to frame a wall and a window opening.
Nobody needed concrete nails to anchor a frame.
There wasn’t any carpenter work for the members
of the Carpenters and Joiners Local.
That season things were as bad as early
December when lots of jobs shut down
and the new jobs wait until spring to start.
So many Christmas holidays held the pendulum
of no toys this year because Dad had no work and,
well, you can’t expect Santa to buy everything, you know.
But this one season there came another job to do,
one that pays better than the carpentry.
All you had to do was fit the insulation around the pipe.
But who knew, or if they knew, would ever admit,
that the asbestos fibers released when you cut that stuff
to fit the pipe would then come back years later to kill you.
And anyway, it would look close enough to smoker’s cancer
that no one would ever suspect or look for asbestos
in that mess inside your chest. By that time,
no one will remember you or where you worked
or who paid you to fit that stinging asbestos insulation
around those pipes in that foolhardy asbestos season.
The money men would be long gone – you would be
shit out of luck, and someone would get well paid
to work in protective gear to undo the work you’ve done.
Editor’s Note: Anthony Buccino “edits business news all day and sneaks away at lunch to write poetry.” These two poems about his father describe an all too familiar story encompassing the beginning to the end.
—Michael Zack, Section Editor, MD, FCCP
Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.
Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.
Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.
Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.
Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.
Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited:
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.