The Typists (by P. K. Page, 1916-2010)
They, without message, having read
the running words on their machines,
know every letter as a stamp
cutting the stencils of their ears.
Deep in their hands, like pianists,
all longing gropes and moves, is trapped
behind the tensile gloves of skin.
Or, blind, sit with their faces locked
away from work. Their varied eyes
stiff as everlasting flowers.
While fingers on a different plane
perform the automatic act
as questions grope along the dark
and twisting corridors of brain.
Crowded together typists touch
softly as ducks and seem to sense
each other’s anguish with the swift
sympathy of the deaf and dumb.