Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Can Remember

Another poem.
I can remember people standing in line outside bars
at seven or eight a.m., waiting for the doors to open.
That was in Detroit when the town ran day and night,
making cars at Dodge Main, Highland,
Eldon Gear and Axle, Cadillac.
A guy got off the night shift sweating and tired,
eight hours of building America, and he wanted a beer.

That’s all gone now; grass grows
where the plants stood and workers had their houses.
I could mourn Detroit the way Jeremiah
mourned Jerusalem. Who builds America now?
Where are the workers out of a poem by Sandburg:
broad-shouldered and covered with sweat,
pissed at the straw boss, ready for a beer?

Most likely, it is too sentimental. But I am sentimental about Detroit.


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