There is a majesty to rough edges and gathering stains of rust, bits of orange
that hint at previous glory, a usefulness
And the workers, in their anonymous uniforms of the day,
remain grateful for employment in the old yards and factories, as sunlight
heats their tools and machines
with its unbearable demands.
There is nothing easy within the space of labor.
And the work itself remains a blessing, dispersed throughout the years, given
as a promise to the generations.
Perhaps our grandparents feared we would forget,
as progress made its deceptive way into the age.
In the embrace of better living, would we fail to honor the ways of blood
and filth on faces, life
on its own terms, embedded under our nails?
One thinks of the danger taken to hands and fingers and limbs, of the fumes
and bits of metal that scald and blind.
Such enemies hide quietly as workers pass by,
their machines sturdy and dutiful by morning but famished
by the approach of night, a secret hunger
less often seen, rarely remembered as the revolution of progress
Hour by hour and nights upon days, as even our morning light
conforms itself to industrial space
and is not spared,
workers and their children continue to arrive