Philip Levine Poems
An Abandoned Factory, Detroit
The gates are chained, the barbed-wire fencing stands,
An iron authority against the snow,
And this grey monument to common sense
Resists the weather. Fears of idle hands,
Of protest, men in league, and of the slow
Corrosion of their minds, still charge this fence.
Beyond, through broken windows one can see
Where the great presses paused between their strokes
And thus remain, in air suspended, caught
In the sure margin of eternity.
The cast-iron wheels have stopped; one counts the spokes
Which movement blurred, the struts inertia fought, ...
Mad Day In March
Beaten like an old hound
Whimpering by the stove,
I complicate the pain
That smarts with promised love.
The oilstove falls, the rain,
Forecast, licks at my wound;
Ice forms, clips the green shoot,
And strikes the wren house mute.