clacking went on though it had stopped for
her for now but it did go on for others not
quite endlessly. The machines shut down,
eventually shuddered into silence as though merely
drawing breath for the dawn shift.
Violet heard the clacking in her head. Like mining villages stuck black on dreams and cuffs and cheeks so here the looms wove endlessly in brains.
She had a book. She had 2 pencils and a dwindling lump of damp chalk. They used roof slate, mine shards, and rags. Violet taught the factory children to read and to write their names during the night when they should have been sleeping all of them should have, to forestall accidents, but she sat cramped on a cold can she used for a stool and they huddled near flickering oil in a bowl learning.
| 1 room
The men had built it and the women had fed them.
It was for the children.
They had paid for an ad in a newspaper and Violet had discovered it.
Wasn't life grand?
Wasn't it mystery and chance, risk and dare, glory and good?
With the scrap of paper her ticket she came to the high northern West to enter this room with its small black stove and rough benches, 2 windows the men proudly fit with glass and the women set with flowers in boxes that froze.
Violet slept in the loft near the stovepipe which she sometimes kicked at night and woke to see the brilliant plate of high plains moon moving over the silver sea grass rolling gently inexorably into the calling of the wolves.