Factory Women – Andrew Frolish

The George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition
2007 Crabbe Memorial Competition – Second Prize
Adjudicator: George Szirtes

Remember how the women would leave first
slipping away like butter from the hot metal
of their plastic moulding machines.
They moved as one, sensing that the bell
would soon burst through the factory hum,
summoning us to the corner room
to slump silently on the same old tables.

By the time we arrived (the factory men),
our packages would be waiting behind
the sliding glass door of the hot cupboard.

Remember sliding onto the benches
and unwrapping, folding back the crisp
lines of white, grease-proof paper
to reveal our rectangles of toast,
soaked through with liquid butter
and browned like oiled holiday skin.
Summer melted outside; left us in.

Copyright © Andrew Frolish 2007




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