The Machine Age

Because far more than friendship, love or gold,
Youg Willy craved the gleaming, whale-shaped car
That, sparkling on the dealer’s lot, foretold
Of slashing flights toward any distant bar
Whose neon gleam avoided grimy mills,
In these same mills he doubly groaned and sweat
On double shifts, and skimped, and  paid off bills,
So that he might, on wheels, go back in debt.
And after he had saved enough, at least
Enough to call it his a little while,
And after he had shined it all, and greased
Each smoothly meshing part, with purring guile
That monster took him out and burst his brain
Against a boxcar on a passing train.

Republished with permission of "Contemporary Ohio Poetry, " 1959


Other works by G.F. Braun...