Production is 350 parts an hour
The sharp metal travels up the conveyor.
Grab it with leather mitts, toss it into the press,
Hit the buttons, the press cycles shaking the floor
An iron hand pulls it out the back.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.
350 times an hour.
Little better than 5 a minute
Over 2,750 times a night
7 nights a week

Repeat, repeat, repeat.
The sounds are deafening.
Constant hums of the industrial motors running.
Recurring booms as the press’ cycle
Annoying hiss of air leaks

Repeat, repeat, repeat.
The stench of oils and compounds fill your nostrils.
A hazy mist dims the view,
Clogging the back of your throat.
Your sweat contains the smell for days.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Constant repetitive motion attacks the muscles.
Chokes off the nerves,
Leaving dull aches, that become torturous pains,
Awakening you like knifes in the night.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Lunch is a mad dash to the lot.
A speedy trip to the package store.
42 ounces of numbing liquid, a few tokes.
Run back to the line before the whistle sounds.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Boss stares with hatred,
Don’t dare slow down or misload.
Keep the rhythm
Union stewards at the bar.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.
The mind grows numb,
Nothing stimulates it, only worries
Too much time to think, can I cover the bills?
When is retirement? Is there hope?

Roy Richard
Dec 2022

Copyright Roy Richard

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