Marvin Lurie

The Box Factory: 1955 (Two)

I can see it in his
eyes. This is his
life. I'm about
to mess with it. We are 
on opposite sides              

                                       of a work table              
                                       making green boxes              
                                       from handful-thick stacks              
                                       of flat cardboard sheets              
                                       pounding off the scrap.

He shows off his strength
with double handfuls.
I work fast, small stacks
keep the piles low
able to keep up.                 We sweat, trash talk, fill              
                                        skids with flat boxes             
                                        six weeks, buck fifty              
                                         an hour. The press        
                                         
clattering and cutting. 

I get a broken
smile when we work
faster than the press,
can put our hammers
down for ten seconds.    

           I keep thinking,      
                    five more weeks,      
                             four more weeks,          
                                    three more weeks...              
                                          I've got school money,

                                          leave his life to him

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