on a labor day

It’s a spooky town. The breath of its deep darkness hangs in the air. Walking these quiet streets, I can feel the rage and torment, the lostness and grief of the men who struggled with their lives for bread and liquor and their place on earth, the bruised women who toiled with terror and hope and despair, the dreamless children who walked the rail in their dirty clothes.

The place seeps perhaps not with their ghosts, but with emotions so intense they linger through the years in the shadows of the looming houses, those vulgar homes too big for common sense, the ones the workers never stepped inside. But those terrible feelings, they permeate the very streets, wash the entire town with a laughing anger, in a final futile conquest of this place. 

Because they own it. They own this town, the specters of that otherwise pointless life-or-death struggle. They are gone and utterly forgotten, but they have an icy grip on this place and they wring it, wring it, choking it with that rage they cannot purge. 

And so inside the quiet rooms of the mansions, in the alleys behind, on the corners of the trendy little main drag, the desperation plays out still. No lessons learned, this labor day, the money still changes hands while a baffled earth looks on. The drugs and the alcohol somehow ensure the clock gets punched, while others tread the mill in their trance. They wake up to breathe another day, the vague sense that something different could exist still somehow pushing the blood through their veins. But there, in the distance, the rumble of the train, soon the whistle blows. Like I said, it’s a spooky town.

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Stand for Freedom