The factories on Van Ness and 55th streets
bend their crumbling walls like old men
who sit all day thinking they have somewhere to go
On the inside, frames of pictures hold only dust
and the dark shadows of their once lean bodies melt down the once virile concrete
that shouldered barreled frames of working men sucking on cigarettes
and whispering their dreams for Saturday nite when payday weighted their pockets
and the hipped girls on East Fresno Street called to them like sirens
and made them smile for the week….
In those days the hours seemed never to end
and for one day in the week each man was a King
as he spread the dollars for each hand and bill that reached out…
Horrified faces of all kinds speak to me forever like children who never grow old
My hand stretches, like the end of a rope, to pull each shadow out of the darkness
and into my memory, my voice vapors into fog,
as each word stumbles, like drunks on a Saturday nite, one over the other.
The children lose patience waiting at the dinner table…
their glass slippers break against the factory walls and windows,
their voices grow silent with each passing year,
they feed on their own depressions remembering days past,
and inherit what is only make-believe.