Nov 30
laurenwwright's picture

The Working Boy

The sunrise slides small feet into ragged boots.
Hat hooks sit empty as the door closes out
the daylight that lit up the room as it opened.
Once white trousers slide over bicycle seats,
while calloused hands grip the medal handles,
and the wheels start to motion the million
rotations it will take on over the next 12 hours.

As he passes the spinning mill, he waves to his
friends inside. They stand on the spinning frame,
adding a few more feet to their height, where they
can mend the empty threads and replace the empty
bobbins. Missing a close friend who used to stand
next to them; now sitting at home. As his foot is mashed
from a piece of machinery, pushing him to fall, where
his small hand falls into unprotected gearing, removing
two fingers. His almost fully grown ears now filled day
after day with disappointing words about not being able
to work from his mother and aunt.

Beneath them, their friend begins his 10 hour day
in concealed darkness. He waits for the mine cars
to pass by for him to open and shut the door, then
returns to sit idle in the pitch black. His plump cheeks
resting on his small face, darken each minute with
another layer of coal dust. As the church bell echos
through town at dusk, the small feet guide them back
home, to rest for ​another day's labor.
 
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