Pinman lives a dangerous life
in many yellow hazard signs.
He trips, slips, falls, is nearly crushed,
and suffers threats from porcupines.
He’s swept, by currents strong, from land.
And out in storms, by power lines, struck
by jagged bolts. His body parts,
his hands and feet are trapped or stuck.
Oh what a hurtful place this world
to Pinman in his yellow wedge!
Yet still he’s out and risking life
for us, to guard, to test its edge.
And say, will Pinman at the end retire,
to rest in peace beyond the line of fire?
Thanks to Sue Borgersen at Pens Around The World for the writing prompt that sparked the above.
Illustrations are mostly copy-right free hazard warning signs. The porcupine is my own. The last, exhausted Pinman is presumably someone’s artwork, though I’ve seen it also classified as a hazard sign – Risk of Suffocation. If it is, in fact, a joke, and if it’s your own work or by someone you know, write to me through the contact form and I’ll be happy to give you credit and a back-link.
I had a lot of fun tracking down the hazard warning signs to illustrate this. The one I find most excrutiating is the hand caught in machinery. It happened to me once when I was in my early twenties. I had a day labourer’s job in a metal fabrication plant. I was drilling a hole in a sheet of metal when I noticed the drill bit wasn’t quite straight. It was the end of the day and I was tired. Without thinking, I grasped the drill bit as it was still turning and tried to straighten it with my gloved hand. The bit snagged my work glove, turned, and seemed about to wrench my hand off. I woke up and pressed the off button. I saved my hand, but it’s not a comfortable memory.