Aug 14, 2012

Father is the Factory

Written by Bill Neumire

Read by Lea Marshall

In the morning there are waddling clouds
& the neighborhood women come out
with their babies to discuss the dreams
of their husbands. Crippled chimney bricks
are falling off his house. He of the wink
& walnut-crushing hands. He of the night without
dreams. Smoke causes a rustle in the bushes
of his sublimated will. He of salt & flannel.
A keen hunger has usurped him.
The Amish carpenters are framing a barn
on the horizon. Meanwhile, in a factory
that never closes my father throws bags of salt
onto a conveyor belt & when he breaks
he pries his feet from steel-toed boots
& soaks them in the lake. He watches
the woodcutters in the morning mud.
They’ve got an idea & now it’s made
of wood. His life paid for me to learn
his loneliness is built of a Marxist disconnection.
These kinds of men have families who survive
without them. The raven lost in the flood.
What man doesn’t want the earth for himself?
Even its antiquarian sunsets. Even its parasites
& mud. The whistle blows & a new shift starts
the slow hours on a clock he didn’t invent.
The belts bring & take, the engines grind the light
& spit back the evening, & outside the hours
don’t know how to stop.