The Modern Machine


They slave hand over hand
Pushing and pulling to survive
In the oppressive heat
And demanding consequence
Falling to get up again
This repetitive struggle
Against the sadistic clock
Fighting to come out ahead
But failing at the bell
When each one returns soiled
Like soot stains on a shirt
This badge of relevance
Giving credence to the lie
As they slide into
This modern machine
Hoping to come out again
Starched, and pressed for wear
Still steaming from the day
But too wired to sleep well
This repetitive daily grind
These cogs turning together
Steady, back to back
This forge’s brilliant heat
Turning them into gods
Before the lights go out
The turning of the century
Making them as obsolete
As a soldier in a trench
When there is no longer war
Replaced by the very machine
They created with their sweat
As blood, and guts, and passion
Swirl together down the drain
And the clocks pause to listen
To their boots against hard concrete
Heading to the grave.


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