The Factory Flame

On the factory floor,
men and women,
sweat circuit boards,
or screens or casings.

The guy that just celebrated
his 40th anniversary on the job
attends to the boiler.

The new kid is running up metal stairs
clutching a stack of mail.

They make more nuts and bolts
than they ever do money.
Yet they’re one raise in pay away
from the work being taken out from under them
and moved to China or Mexico.

Clock off time,
late afternoon,
lights out
except for, in a far corner,
where a man still wields
an acetylene torch,
blasts a hole in the coming dark.

How long that flame will last
is anyone’s guess.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and the Round Table. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Read other articles by John.