Those soiled rubber bands, lay in wait around
my thinning wrist. They now sag, strained by
the third hour of toil. I await the ever expanding
pile of envelopes like a convict awaiting the feel
of grass under hardened feet.
The machine jams up once more, as the machinist
wipes the sweat from his grit covered brow. I avoid any
form of eye contact whilst he mumbles his hangover
drenched soliloquies. My feet slip in the puddles of
oil that gather at the machines rusted feet.
The rest of the faces of the shop floor remain pensive,
the skeletal shadows of the iron balcony loom above. It
always threatens to collapse, to finally merge each body here
within this building's ever enclosing walls; I stopped
counting any cash I've made hours ago.
And again the cogs begin to turn, my dizziness now
stable, as the streams of unmatched junk mail once
again start their smirking march across the conveyer
belt. I match numbers to addresses, addresses to numbers,
And the clocks hands still haven't moved an inch.
Sat in those bars that I so despised, back when I blew out
derision amidst clouds of green smoke. My breath like
December morning fog, never allowing the scarred
surrounding faces any chance to emerge and have their
Under each shadow I would cower, the only audible sound
was the chaffing of my jeans, their ears still oblivious. Their
ill-fitting polo shirts would waft around their expanding waists,
creating a breeze as annoying as the static on that broken, cracked
The outside heat amongst the screaming children and barking dogs,
that still air that never promises stable weather. No longer does this
time seem as fulfilled and endless as it did the decades previous. In
this room I once held precious I now feel like a stranger, my eyes now
I'm cast back to the time when we would weave in and out of each
others heads and pockets, bathing on hot concrete; the broken bottles
framing our feet. Each back street and field would be marked by our
often uninvited presence and smeared footprint. Territories owned by our
Jonathan Butcher has had poetry appear in various print on online publications.
His second chapbook 'Broken Slates' was recently published by Flutter Press.