POEM: Industry International, Lower Illovo

BY JONATHAN HALL

Through the sugar cane
Past the rehab facility
Next to the distillery
Scene of last night’s revelry
Is an unused factory typical
South Coast scenery

Old machine parts lie quilted
In a post-industrial deconstruction
Drives, motors, pumps
Each in their ordered place

We’re looking for a flow meter, Endress and Hauser
(We have charged liquids to measure.)
I’m told it resembles something you’d expect to see on Deepsea Challenger

Dad is on the mezzanine when I spot it
I peer down to decipher its type
German cognates
Time stagnates
Afrikaans pop permeates
stop, wag, bly nog ‘n bietjie
in the unit next to this one they’re rebuilding motorbikes.

And it’s strange that I’m here on Wednesday afternoon
silently, respectfully peering at dismembered machinery
Imagining what this could have been
Amid the disused pumps, motors and drives, powerless, hoping

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