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a poem by Wayne Mason (1 of 2)

A Ghost On The Factory Floor

Before sunrise the
factory looks like
a ghost town haunted
by broken spirits
an unrealized dream

Before the workers
shuffle in sick with
heavy tired steps and
baggy eyes set on
blank faces like stone

I've spent over a
decade now with a
respirator strapped
to my weary head
like a crown of thorns

Ten years marching down
these bays in battered
boots memorizing
every corner and
crack of this building

Memorizing this
building the way most
people memorize
their favorite songs
or their lovers' curves

Nothing changes much
except we all get
deader and older
in the same old boat
full of holes sinking

I miss the young man
with a belly full
of fire and poetry
who swore this job was
just temporary

The perpetual
dreamer that this place
just couldn't beat down
to whom each moment
was bursting with words

Who looked at all the
factory scrubs with
endless compassion
before they beat the
poems out of him

But he's slipped away
seen now and then in
fragments and shadows
like a ghost haunting
the factory floor

Replaced by this tired
man with thinning hair
pushing forty with
no fire and no dreams
not even in sleep

Even then there is
but a black timeless
all-consuming void
much like the one he
haunts eight hours a day

© by Wayne Mason
Gutter Eloquence Magazine ~ Issue #22 ~ July 2012    next poem     return to top