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 ...