Roy Ernest Ballard
Father's Printing Shop - Poem by Roy Ernest Ballard
A sniff of printed paper!
The mind slips far away
without a stop to father's shop
and prints of yesterday.
The leaden letters standing
in pigeonholed array
are made to fly by hand and eye
and set within the tray.
The Heidleberg is going;
Pa inks it as he treads;
remembrance swells the inky smells
and colours that he spreads.
He daubs the disc of steel
a quick besmearing stripe;
across the wheel the rollers squeal
and squeeze upon the type.
I hear the big press going,
a cacophonous sound,
with slaps and welts of leather belts
that drive the wheels around.
The virgin sheets are printed,
no longer pure and dumb
but bearing signs and bold designs
There's men and boys with barrows
and vans by night and day
but where they go I do not know
to bear the print away.
I can't say things are better
I can't say things are bad
but I sit tight, print as I write
which would astonish Dad.
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