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A Distant Fleeting Memory
RF (02/09/1954 / Perth, Ontario)

A Distant Fleeting Memory

Poem By Raymond Farrell

As I sit
Under the locust tree
This afternoon
I reflect on how
I have done things I regret
A distant fleeting memory
Floats back into my mind
About one such incidence
When I was a student in Toronto
I got a summer job
At a warehouse
Packing boxes for Dunlop Hardware
Packages of nuts and bolts and so on
Had to be put into boxes
Not weighing more than 30 pounds
Put on a conveyor belt
That went up up up
And then the box
Went cascading down rollers
Into another room
And was caught
By the folks
In the shipping department
Before it went off the rollers
And burst on the floor
The other workers on the line
Were just trying to survive
In a low paying job
That was boring
But made insufferable
By an English foreman
Who thought he was
Our Lord and Master
Two weeks into the job
My Irish temper
Got the best of me
And I put the fear
Of God Almighty
Into his Lord and Master
Having got that problem out of the way
I was left with 10 more weeks
Of the grind
The back and forth banter
On the packing line
Quickly grew stale
And at lunch everyone
But me
Went to eat their lunch
And have a beer
At a local strip joint
So the afternoon conversation
Consisted of a discussion
Revolving around female body parts
Day in and day out
I felt the frustration building
Finally
My last day on the job arrived
It was a Friday
The pay cheques
Were handed out at 3: 30
With cheque in hand
And quitting time at 5: 00
I waited until the last moment
To pack a monsterous box
Full of nuts and bolts
My German co-worker said
The Englishman will
See you fired for that
I waved my cheque at him
And said I'm done today
This is my last cheque
I loaded the box
Onto the conveyor belt
It went up up up
Then the two of us
Went to watch it
Come down the rollers
It was like a train
On greasy rails
The shippers took one look
And scattered
The box hit the floor
Like a clap of thunder
And the guts burst
And there were
Nuts and bolts
From one end of the joint
To the other
I went out the door
On the fly
To the bank across the road
And cashed my cheque
Got on the street car
And in about 15 minutes
The euphoria
That came with
Releasing my frustration
Turned to regret
As I thought
Of the poor buggers
Who had to cleanup the mess.

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Comments (1)

: -) That's not funny, Ray. (It's friggin hilarious) But the actions of a youngin (regrettable, as they should be) You are great at this kind of writing. I hope to see more Peace


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