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Factory Girl – A Letter






Dear Brother,
       In my job I use
              a tiny torch
it opens    and closes    as I stitch
metal with a syringe of light
bright     as a drop     of sun.     I try
not to look        but two white spots
burn at the back of my eyes.

       In one I see
the other jobs I’ve had –
                cleaning up inn rooms
-- someone else’s stain.
       In the other: years
nearly starving on the farm
never     enough, no     wheels, no
way to town.
these two     spots    the men
who wanted something           and me
just trying to make it work.
implies something remains,
but want is all it is.
                         Dear Brother,
                              in little squeezes of light
that whisper and cut
are months and years     my history
turned white
in this brazier     that captures and holds,
this chamber
                   where everything
                                        hardens and glows.


Source: The Dos Passos Review, Spring 2010.

Mary Fitzpatrick is a fourth-generation Angeleno and a communications manager. Her poems have been featured in Atlanta Review, North American Review, Mississippi Review, ASKEW, The Georgetown Review and online by Writers at Work.

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