Speed Lunch, a poem written by Michael Ball at Spillwords.com
Janko Ferlic

Speed Lunch

Speed Lunch

written by: Michael Ball



Cotton-mill workers do not stroll.
Half hour to get home from Ellis Street
stoke enough fuel for the vigor
for a non-stop half a work shift.

Parodying cotton’s softness, the mill air,
is a snow globe, wafting silent storms.
All about is a two-color joke.
White fibers will bring brown lung.

At noon, the quick meal is part of work-life.
No time for hippy mindfulness or nicety,
Instead they make a muddle,

Each worker brutalizes the food, let’s say
pulled pork, rice, string beans simmered gray.
using the side of the fork as a tool
to make a hash, or rather a swamp.

Ever so quickly, the foods merge into one.
That mixing complete, the actual task
of eating is efficiently done.
They double-step back to the mill.

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