David Wojahn

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Best Poem of David Wojahn

Catawba Cotton Mill, 1908

Propping his tripod, Hine remembers
Childhood snowfall in Wisconsin,
Flakes careening in prairie wind,

A red sleigh skimming a frozen lake,
Curlicued breath-mist of two dappled drays.
But this is a blizzard of cotton dust

From the looms & thirty thousand spindles,
Gauze-air, whirlwind of innumerable floaters.
The thermometer reads one hundred & three.

& for these seven ten-year-olds, childhood
Is six ten-hour shifts & on the seventh day
They rest, heads nodding over ...

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