For The Grey Men

This poem is from the 1984 Lancashire Association of Trades Councils ‘anthology of working class art and literature’ Different Drums, a Second Trade Union Annual.

For The Grey Men

The supervisor led to
a new machine

signalled the instructions.
He knew them by heart,

“Twenty gross is your target” he said
tossing a black plastic stick into the box

smiling to me
in his white supervisor’s coat –

“All right? It’s an easy little job
a child could do it” –

And when he’d gone
I looked round the shop

and counted the men with white
or greying hair.

Andy Fletcher


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