Justin Reamer

Freshman - 967 Points (2 October 1993 / Holland, Michigan)

Blue-Collar Man - Poem by Justin Reamer

Working every day and night,
On a schedule that seems endless,
Working past midnight
And into early dawn,
I work the factory day and night
On a schedule that seems like 24: 7;
Something that I have become accustomed to,
Something that I feel is just another part of life.

I work day in and day out,
With an endless schedule
That feels like I don't
Get a single hour's rest.
It feels as if I live there,
With no sleep to help me
Make the day.
But somehow I push on,
And my metabolism perseveres,
Although my energy is drained,
And I must push hard to work.
I know not how I do it,
But my body fights against me
As I fight against it,
And the hours seem like days,
Which pass by slowly,
Which I cannot understand,
For fatigue is at my doorstep,
And the factory is my home.

Do I even have a home? I ask myself,
Wondering whether this to be true;
I have never gone anywhere called
‘Home' for what seems like days or weeks
Or months,
Or years, perhaps;
It seems I have lost track of time,
Although I must push to keep working,
And the working is my concentration,
My main focus in life.
I do not remember the day or the month,
Or even the year,
For all I know is that the factory
Is where I am,
And the work is what I do,
Day-in and day-out.

The equipment is so large and heavy,
And they are noisy at that,
The environment is permissible,
Since I have become so used to it.
The noise is not so bad,
For I learned to drown it out;
It is absent in the background,
As I continue on my work.
The equipment is dangerous,
From what I can see,
For it can take lives,
Like the beast of 216.
My co-workers call it ‘666, '
This machine that lies within the factory,
For it tears people apart,
When it gets angry.
In truth, I believe one can lose his life
To that dreaded machine,
But only if one is not being mindful
And careful of what it is capable of.
I have grown accustomed to it,
And I am careful when I am around it,
For I do not let it shred me to pieces,
And I do what I need to do,
In order for the factory to prosper,
And for the manufacturing to go well.

I work day-in and day-out,
I am the Blue-Collar Man,
And I work the machines,
With fatigue at my doorstep.
I gain a low wage,
A wage that is almost nothing,
Something like $0.50,
Which gets paid to us every hour.
This wage I don't know,
Which is almost next to nothing,
Is something I can only bare,
To come to share,
That it is not much for a living.
The only thing I can use it for,
Is to pay for the morning coffee,
Which is so expensive,
I cannot attest,
That it robs me of my living.
I have that coffee for my energy,
So that's how I know I push through the day,
Working day and night,
Without an ounce of sleep,
Or a single moment of rest.
And this coffee is the only thing that keeps me alive,
For I have no meals,
For the factory gives us none,
And because I cannot afford food of my own.
I still wonder to this day,
Whether or not I have a house,
Or even a home to go to,
Since I spend every night and day in the factory.

When was the last time I saw my family? I ask myself,
Wondering whether it was true.
I was pretty sure I had a family once,
And that they all were somewhere,
But I was unsure whether they were existent,
And if they lived in the same place.
I thought they existed,
From what I knew,
I know I married someone;
I know I dated someone, too.
I knew she was a woman,
A very beautiful woman,
With dark brown hair,
And bright blue eyes,
But I could not remember her name.
I know I married her a long time ago,
But I cannot remember where she resides today,
And I do not know whether or not she is still alive.
I know I have children, too,
For I remember them being happy and merry,
But I do not know what happened to them, either,
And I cannot remember their whereabouts.
Do I have a family? I wonder,
Yes, I do,
But where are they?
What ever happened to them?
Are they still alive?
All these answers are unknown to me,
Since I do not even know where my own home is,
And this factory is my own prison,
And that I do nothing but work all the year round.
My family is unknown to me,
And I know nothing else.

What has happened to my co-workers?
What has happened to all of us that we work here, nonstop?
Why do we fight to make a living?
I do not know any of these answers, either.
I sit in the assembly line and screw machinery,
And the thoughts keep running through my head,
Since I knew that my life was rough.

Who were we, the factory workers?
Why do we fight for our living?
Why do we fight for our time to survive?
Why do we work until we are tired,
With Death alluring we near his embrace,
With our corpses nearly snagged into the Earth,
With Satan grabbing at our remains,
And Death taking our souls to our judgement,
Only to know that we are not dead,
And that we rise again,
Mere corpses of the Undead,
Pushing forward to work the factory,
To make sure it thrives,
And that we fail to survive.

Why are we here?
Does anyone care about us?
They say there are managers of this place,
This place that has dehumanised in every possible way,
In which I cannot describe,
But which we are mere robots performing jobs,
With the flames bursting in the distance,
And the pools of blood and fire tear apart
Every shred of life.
Who are the managers of this place?
Rumours say that they are daemons,
Willing to take our blood on any circumstance;
Others say they are executive officers,
Such as the CEO, the CFO, the President, and the VP,
Who don't care about their own employees,
And only care about their monetary gain;
Others say it is that man from Germany,
The man they call the ‘Fuhrer, '
Who is reigning over all of us,
Directly from the Undead,
And his party,
The one with the officer suits,
The black outfits,
And the red flag with the black spider,
Will tear us down in order to oppress us,
And to take over the world;
Others say they are gods,
Who have ruled the Earth for centuries,
And have come back to claim their reign on the planet,
And have enslaved all humankind to their own disposal.
However, I know not who they are,
Or what they are
Or whence they ever came,
But I live my life,
Working overtime,
Trying my best to keep up with the work,
And making sure that I get it done,
In order to make it the next day.

I think as I work,
For my mind is disengaged from
My muscles' actions,
For my body works like a machine;
I fight my fatigue,
And I fight my own body,
Pressing forward with my own volition.
My mind thinks
And wonders
And tries to remember,
In order to understand where I am.
Where do I work?
Why am I here?
What ever happened to my life?
What ever happened to my family?
I don't know,
And I keep working,
Until the day is out.

I keep working,
Until the alarm sounds,
Saying that we are allowed a break.
My body disengages,
And I am in control again,
And I step out of the working form
I was in,
And finally I collapse onto the ground,
And I close my eyes for the first time in days,
And I have the longest slumber I have had in days,
And I feel that I could never wake up.
I am the blue-collar man,
The one who works day and night,
Working the factory 24: 7,
And I am finally tired.
I have finally given in to my fatigue,
And I may have met my eternal slumber.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2012

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