Saturday, August 30, 2008
Rust Belt Reverie
Moloch, whose factories
Dream and croak in the fog...
I remember the smoke and the steam and the dirt,
And the muscular steelmen in white tee shirts,
Who through danger, for wages and overtime pay
Made steel in the factory every day.
A sky made of lead and the whiskey poured brown
Had to make do for color in dirty Youngstown;
Poles and Italians, and Croats and jews
Hunkered each in their enclaves and prayed in their pews.
The shrieks of rail cars by a river of rust
Rang into a sky raining soot and black dust;
The wind would blow cinders that stuck in your eye
Till late summer storms came to wash out the sky.
The grimy brick schoolhouse, that poor spinsters' prison,
It was there that I entered the hallways of wisdom.
And there, like a green, pale, and tender young weed
Growing out of an ash pile, learned how to read.