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Requiem

Bob Quigley Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Requiem which was written by poet Bob Quigley. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Requiem

They stand alone in stark contrast to their surroundings.  Derelict, they speak of a time past, when they played a role in, no, were the heart of the community.  Gone is the smoke filled air billowing from the monolithic chimneys, spewing the acrid smell of wood and coal fired burners.  Gone is the cacophonous sound of the belt driven machines, never pausing, providing the textiles, the shoes, and the lumber for a growing nation.  The mill was the town.  The town was the mill.  Men, women, entire families, streamed in from Ireland, Canada, Asia, and Europe, all in hopes of finding work in the mills. .  Rural New England families sent their daughters to fulfill needs, wishes, and dreams,   Looking to find something better then the poverty and pain they left behind.

Cultures clashed and families melded.  Ethnicity's struggled to survive, while slowly being pulled apart.  Towns grew to cities.  Roots were set.  Standards established.  Normality changed virtually overnight.  It was a hard life, but one lived with pride.  Workers labored through twelve and fourteen hour days, six days a week, reserving only Sunday to reflect on how lucky they were and give thanks.

Through a war that consumed a generation, they toiled.  Those that could fight, did.  Those left behind molded the fabric and leather and logs and iron that became the clothes and tents and weapons that supported their effort.

Disease and infirmities squeezed the life from their bodies.  The ravages of the mills took their toll.  Many gave their lives to the mills.  Many others took their place.

From this a nation, grew and prospered on the backs of those that had a dream and chased it.  In the hearts of those that believed that there would be a better tomorrow if only they could get through today.  It became their country and they strove to defend it and nurture it, cost be damned.

I gaze now upon the mill.  Silent, it watches today, remembers yesterday.  A piece of history, long ignored.  I do not see the weathered stone and hollow windows.  I see instead a monument.  It says to me “ I am that from which this city sprung.  I did not abandon you as you did me.  Inside, my heart still beats.  I am the spark that ignited freedoms flame.  I provided the mothers milk of opportunity.  I am your foundation.  In my halls a country was built.  My empty floors now store the memories of a nation”.

They stand alone in stark contrast to their surroundings.  Derelict, they speak of a time past.

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  1. Date: 6/22/2012 9:09:00 AM

    Much the same as the town in which I have spent my life..All that is gone now and some of the buildings have even been torn down..Enjoyed reading a piece of history..Sara

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley Date: 6/23/2012 2:17:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you Sara. Here in Maine, the Lewiston/Auburn area is full of the old mills. Some are being converted to other uses, but most sit quietly.
  1. Date: 5/22/2012 12:02:00 PM

    my mind exploded with excitement as this piece represents the truth in its purest form. Dare i say this just excellent. RONNY

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley Date: 5/23/2012 8:43:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you Ronny. Very kind comments indeed
  1. Date: 5/14/2012 12:14:00 PM

    Thoroughly enjoyed this piece, mainly because it shouts out the truth, be it America, England, or any of the so called great nations. They were all built on blood, sweat and tears. Now they all exploit the third world countries to make their gains. God Bless

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley Date: 5/14/2012 9:01:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you Dave. Glad you enjoyed it.
  1. Date: 5/14/2012 12:13:00 PM

    Thoroughly enjoyed this piece, mainly because it shouts out the truth, be it America, England, or any of the so called great nations. They were all built on blood, sweat and tears. Now they all exploit the third world countries to make their gains. God Bless

  1. Date: 5/11/2012 3:02:00 PM

    lovely piece indeed - much enjoyed. many congrats on all your wins, my friend

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley Date: 5/12/2012 8:08:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks Jack
  1. Date: 5/9/2012 9:34:00 AM

    I enjoyed reading this very well written poem. Thank you very much for sharing with us. Lucilla

    Quigley Avatar Bob Quigley Date: 5/9/2012 9:40:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you for stopping by Lucilla
  1. Date: 5/8/2012 3:50:00 PM

    very sad, so your title is perfect. it is depressing to think of how life has changed and all of our products are now made in foreign countries, when the mills and factories here once provided so much livelihood to our citizens. you've described this very beautifully!

  1. Date: 5/8/2012 12:31:00 PM

    Bob a pleasure to read your poetry today. I will try to come back later this week to read more. I have a spring cold and not up to reading for too long. Have a wonderful week. Love, Carol