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“The Ashtray”

Beneath the blue ramada
Sat the man in coveralls.
He had emptied the ashtray
And set it on the table
Firmly, but with gentle care.
He encircled it in his palms
As a mother would her young.
For it was his — for just this time —
Though it belonged to no one.

His hair was grey and thinning.
His face showed years of tending
To grey machines as they spun
On a floor bathed in grey light.
Thirty years or maybe more
He’d worn the badge of stern love:
Lone duty in the droning hum.
They only called it “Bay Six”,
But to him it was Byzantium.


raised floor

photo credit: cote via photopin cc

©2014 Bill LaBrie