Prize winning Poem – 40 Hours In Hell

40 Hours In Hell.

It’s Friday night, it’s the end of a week
In an inferno of rivets and sockets
It’s pay day tonight and it’s heaven we seek
With the wages of hell in our pockets

The pay packet’s more than the worker’s price
It’s all under God that’s true
A weekend pass to paradise
On a ticket from Kalamazoo

But wages won’t deliver us from evil
They’re fruit on the serpent’s tree
Because all foremen and bosses are devils
Tempters who tell us we’re free

Aye, we’re free to ruin our bodies and eyesight
We’re free to break our sore backs
We’re free to be told we’ve got no rights
And free to strike and be sacked

So when Friday comes and the hooter’s drone swells
And the gates swing wide in reprieve
We’re men who’ve done forty hours in hell
Yon Dante could never conceive

Friday night’s heaven’s a haircut and a pint
Saturday’s the game and a glass
Then a dance, a drink, a winch and a fight
And Sunday’s a hungover Mass

Next day at seven and it’s the hooter now warning
We’re late for the clocking-in bell
Inside the gates, it’s good Monday morning
To the next forty hours in hell.

© Peter Russell 2015


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