Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ghost in the Factory

The factory was never quiet--not even at night when much of it was shut down. Even earplugs didn't block the constant roar of the massive ventilation system. Its noise became a new kind of silence by drowning out all other sounds--a footstep, a sigh, the rustle of clothing--and with the lights dimmed and a mist of weld smoke swirling slowly up to the ceiling before being pushed by fans into the night air, some areas were almost eerie. So when something a little odd happened, especially more than once and always in the same area....

The Ghost in Subrail Assembly

Friday midnight,
In that silence
Of factory's resting roar,
Through lingering twilight haze of welding smoke,
A flash of white seizes the eye.
The head follows too slowly--
It is gone.
Then gooseflesh on neck, arms,
Finally a feathery touch,
Fleeting, gentle,
At waist or shoulder,
Almost a caress.

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