Production Line

This poem is from the 1983 collection Hard Lines. The book has several young writers, such as Anne Clark, Aidan Cant, Claire Dowie, Jenny Fraser and more with an introduction by Ian Dury.

Production Line

Swarms of people
Voices grate together
Machines spilling oil
Stale smell
Noise biting
Eating nerve ends
Jeyes Fluid
Lights burning like
Hot pokers stroking eyes
Sick joke
Cackling laughter
Feeling ill
Sounds accelerating
Crescendo into screams
My screams
Silent screams
Stuck in my throat
Back aching
Shoulders on fire
Head spinning
Room growing dim
Trolleys spewing cloth
Belnding into one
Turning upside-down
Hands tired
Trying to move faster
Ever quicker
Brain twisting
Surroundings hazy
Speed = work = wages
Sick welling
Churning inside my stomach
Bell ringing
Clean air
Lungs bursting freshness
Sun smiling
Until tomorrow
When repetition repeats
Again and again and again…

Debbie Radford

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