The gaslight lighter

The gates to the mill at the top of nob hill
close at one minute past five,
they open again in the evening at six to
let the mill workers go home.

God it were tough in the sheds
the overseer banging heads and
shouting wake up you lazy scruffs,
but he were on a bonus
while us poor sods
were on bread and dripping.

They try to sanitise what’s gone
but the muck and the grime
and the clanking of the looms
pass beyond the test of time
and will remain
in our collective memories.

© 2020, John Smallshaw.