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An Abandoned Factory Detroit

Written by: Philip Levine | Biography
 The gates are chained, the barbed-wire fencing stands, 
An iron authority against the snow, 
And this grey monument to common sense 
Resists the weather. Fears of idle hands, 
Of protest, men in league, and of the slow 
Corrosion of their minds, still charge this fence. 

Beyond, through broken windows one can see 
Where the great presses paused between their strokes 
And thus remain, in air suspended, caught 
In the sure margin of eternity. 
The cast-iron wheels have stopped; one counts the spokes 
Which movement blurred, the struts inertia fought, 

And estimates the loss of human power, 
Experienced and slow, the loss of years, 
The gradual decay of dignity. 
Men lived within these foundries, hour by hour; 
Nothing they forged outlived the rusted gears 
Which might have served to grind their eulogy.



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