Owen Sheers
The Steelworks
except it doesn't anymore.
A deserted mothership
becalmed on the valley's floor,

sheep passing through the car park,
padlocks rusting on the gates
and birds nesting in the breathless vents.

The work happens elsewhere now,
sometimes all day - men pressing and dipping
in the lifting bays, locking out elbows,

rolling a bicep up an arm then away,
or just kneeling and bowing
to the benediction of a lateral pull.

Pumping iron under strip lights,
they take the strain of another afternoon shift
with screwed tight eyes, pneumatic sighs,

while at the window - still the rain,
rolling off the clouds in sheets
across a brushed-metal sky.

Ebbs vale, 2002