"Papermill"

Not to be believed, this blunt savage wind

Blowing in chill empty rooms, this tornado

Surging and bellying across the oily floor

Pushing men out in streams before it;

Not to be believed, this dry fall

Of unseen fog drying the oil

And emptying the jiggling greasecups;

Not to be believed, this unseen hand

Weaving a filmy rust of spiderwebs

Over these turbines and grinding gears,

These snarling chippers and pounding jordans;

These fingers placed to lips saying shshsh:

Keep silent, keep silent, keep silent;

Not to be believed hardly, this clammy silence

Where once feet stamped over the oily floor,

Dinnerpails clattered, voices rose and fell

In laughter, curses, and songs. Now the guts

Of this mill have ceased and red changes to black,

Steam is cold water, silence is rust, and quiet

Spells hunger. Look at these men, now,

Standing before the iron gates, mumbling,

"Who could believe it? Who could believe it?"

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