Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, COTTON MILL FUNERAL, by STEWART ATKINS



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COTTON MILL FUNERAL, by            
First Line: Not without sorrow did she watch the sod
Last Line: Later, like this sad one, they never weep.
Subject(s): Cotton; Funerals; Mills & Millers; Burials


Not without sorrow did she watch the sod
Packed over one who went to meet a God
He never clearly understood nor knew.
Somehow she vaguely felt his sins were few.
She sorrowed, but the lean and bitter years
Had robbed her of the privilege of tears.

It was his creed to slowly go at night
Through the big mill gate, and the cold delight
Of handling steel machinery he well
Knew, but temptations of a warmer hell
Had seemed to leave him strangely little moved,
Yet not so strangely -- for his life was grooved.

A cold rain fell. She stood beside his grave,
His wife, who, like himself had been a slave
To the big mill that shadowed both their lives.
The mill men never grumble, but their wives
At first cry quietly while their husbands sleep.
Later, like this sad one, they never weep.





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