John Grey, 10/3/2016
Current Occupation: Retired
Previous Occupation: Financial Systems Analyst
Contact Information: Australian born poet, US resident since late seventies. Worked as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Coe Review, Abbey and Cemetery Moon with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Harbinger Asylum.
THE DAY BEFORE THE NEWS BREAKS
On the factory floor,
complete ignorance continues
to churn out screws or are those circuit boards
or even television sets.
The company's been sold.
The new owners plan to move all operations south
where willing hands will do the same work
for half the price.
there's a cross section of those
who have no clue what's going on –
the guy that just celebrated his 40th anniversary
is welding frames;
the kid who only started this month
is running up metal stairs clutching a stack of mail;
the young woman in the dye shop
can't bear to think what the chemicals
are doing to her lungs.
But that's the unaware for you,
they do their job
as if it's as secure
as the nuts and bolts they make,
with as much of a future
as those snazzy smart phones.
Ina far corner,
a guy still wields
an acetylene torch,
blasts a hole in the surrounding shadows.
That flame's bright as the future
they all think they’ve got coming.
ON SECOND SHIFT
The parking lot is calm tonight.
Volkswagens sit comfortably with Mercedes.
The lights still fail to illuminate every corner
but the gates are secured
and the guards scrutinize
from their high tower.
The thugs will not get by on their watch.
Inside, the people sweat and swear
and whine about the little they make.
The managers sit behind closed office doors,
balancing their checkbooks.
wincing at loud machinery,
breathing heavy fumes,
it doesn't stop 'til midnight.
Sure, there's cameras in high corners
filming the whole process
but who watches.
The guards' charge is to make sure
the cars are safe.
For people can never be safe.
Yet still the company drives them.