Work

It was the old steel city
a rolling metal landscape
once home to the daily march
of the thousands of workers,

an army for the
People’s Republic of South Yorkshire
trudging in hobnail boots in grime valleys
by the temptation of corner pubs.

And now, the old army is retired
replaced by troops of new media
of call centres and button pressing
in the mazes of customer support.

Remember, as you walk down by the
Vickers? This was the journey thousands
made every day, for their keep, and
the country’s industry,

before it rotted, and the route
changed to one for cars
travelling to the shopping centre,
to catch the imported bargains in bright boxes.

And the city fathers look down from
their old general resting place as
the old place vanishes
brick after brick.

They rest easy as they supported
the change, paid for in education
and the tide of students,
clinging to the hope of their results.

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