In October’s slanted sun,
when temperatures drop
almost as fast as the leaves,
life goes on
oblivious of the season.
The steel mills are blooming.

Listen to the litany of lost jobs,  Watch
the parking lot grow in its emptiness.
The sound of silence roars but
that does not stop the blossoming.

Thimbleweed and aster,  Blackberry
and blazing star, the Creator reclaims
His garden.  Yellowroot and one last
buttercup thrive where steel could not.

Blast furnaces sprout nests.  Bobwhite
and mourning dove, kestrel and kildeer,
an unlikely congregation in the apse
of empty ovens. Coke plant and rolling mill,
deprived of industrial dreams
have found a higher calling.

Machinery rusts with creaks and moans,
Time clocks have stopped.
Nature’s way has overcome, undaunted
by the shenanigans of man.

7 thoughts on “Undaunted

  1. BoardFlak

    It is hard to imagine a place like a steel mill being left open where animals could enter, even when otherwise abandoned, though I suppose it could happen. It kind of strikes me as a sad situation; the young being raised in such an alien environment.

    1. Michael,

      The mill is right on the Ohio River, and it is a virtual menagerie of wildlife…whitetail deer, raccoons, posssum (not to mention lesser rodents,) birds of all kinds, etc. Even when it was operating, there were so many raccoon that they frequently went into the substation to get warm in winter and stuck their nose in the wrong place, resulting in their death and a massive power outage. Parts of the mill are running again, and many of the older, outdated sections are being demolished, but it is a long drawn out process that often reverses itself.

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