You talk about the Soo Locks
and how you love to watch the water
go up and down, and the boats,
and I laugh,
“The water goes up and down, big deal,”
and grab the lunch you made me
and run out the door
and drive to the job
to stack steel
and I watch the press go up and down
and the more it goes up and down
the mote steel I have to stack.
I understand this up and down of the factory—
it is simple and American—machines and steel—
and I eat the lunch you made me
and close my eyes
and try to picture
the water going up and down.