Picking Up Dad from Work

Wagner Castings Co., 1994

It was all golden air and sepia pavement,
gray smoke blooming from industrial stems.

Fly ash flecked parking lot air, drifting black
snow. Smell of melting rubber and brushfires.

I thought the world would always be that way:
low rumbling machinery, conveyer belts spun

thin, cracks spreading like thickening veins,
distant voices spilling from doors opening

and closing like wings, soot stained hands
clapping shoulders covered by gritty cotton.

Chelsey HarrisChelsey Harris is currently in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University and an assistant editor at Crab Orchard Review. Her work has appeared in The Missing Slate, Cooper Street, and Dressing Room Poetry Journal; was shortlisted at Shooter Literary Magazine; and is forthcoming in The Journal and Hope Grows Here: Stories of Resilience from Survivors of Domestic Abuse.