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

sheep pa**ing 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