Scoundrel Time


Invincible system. Riveting mass
and iron forged to chute prime
smokeless West Virginia coal
down the mountain to the rails
on the river gorge, locomote it
straight to market. Henry Ford
bought it, bettered it. Sold it
when regulations hamstrung.
Still, on it went, invincible system,
gouging the land, gorging on workers.
Muscles engorged hoisting ore and slate,
braces, trusses, tracks, and children,
once they built schools in creeksplit town,
whites on the west, blacks on the east.
Invincible system. Rust-petrified now.
Frayed cable, red bones, toxic old midway
where vivid jewelweed congratulates decay.




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