. . . And after they had torn and undermined
The earth, and passed the tons of rusty ore
Through frightening fires, until it was refined,
and then unloaded it upon the shore
Of Black Detroit, where it was fired anew
And in a hell of sparks and deafening thumps
Compressed to sheets from chunks, and then dragged through
Machines that shined these sheets and smoothed their lumps,
And also scored and cut and carefully stamped
Then into little hollow cubes of steel;
And after they had polished these and clamped
Then into dashboards, near the steering wheel,
They paused, now sure no one would be upset
When ashes lengthened on his cigarette.

Published in "The Writer," March, 1954

Sonnet irony

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