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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Bindery

Published: Blue Collar Review  Winter 2011

              The Bindery   First Night

Graveyard shift
Enthralled at first
In awe of this great space
The clatter of dark green machinery
Metropolis of movement
Long conveyor belts with snake-like curves
That rattle on ten thousand metal rollers
Printing presses
More than fifty employees
All of us moving at top speed.

At one of fourteen stations
I load paper into hoppers that are quickly emptied
Needing more
A warning buzzer sounds
Go faster . . . faster . . . pallet loads of pages.
Sweating on this concrete floor
Under the unforgiving grid of bare fluorescent lights
No mercy
Eight hours running back and forth
Between the pallets and the bins.

On my way home
At dawn
Thank God it's over
Ears are ringing
Pray I'm not too tired to sleep.

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