Read Poetry: DEATH IN THE SODA FACTORY, by Irma Beridze

We washed bottles, rinsing them in icy water,
We wore high galoshes and our feet got wet,
The other ladies were my mother’s age,
I was nineteen,
And promised myself,
Among the banging of bottles,
And the burbling of water,
“I will not leave you here,
I will not leave you!”

During a break we would take off wet aprons,
Sit at a table,
And either joke or complain,
That the soup lacked salt,
Or they would talk about children,
Relating about cutting fingers on the edge of bottles,
“You will not stay here,
You will not stay!”
I repeat.

The factory boss would usually lay me down flat at the lunch table,
A bald man with a beer belly,
I reached down to the bottom of his sweet bottles with brushes,
He starts to gossip like a brush inside of me,
“I will not leave you here”
I whispered.

Some trade unions helped us in a strike,
We demanded:
A change of management,
And some safe work,
Benefits for missed days,
The dismissal of of the Director.

Standing with heavy galoshes
In water up to the knees,
Being quiet,
Mute,
Was not life,
But death
In a windowless,
Sweetly scented,
Soda factory.

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This entry was posted in 2018 Poetry, new poetry, poet, poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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