Flag in the Breeze

William Doreski

Stiff in gray air, a flag accents

a slab of industrial landscape.

Dull windowless metal-sided

warehouse capped with ventilators.


Who works in such a bland setting?

I lasted two weeks in Hallmark

Card’s facility in Enfield,

sorting greetings for shipment,


unloading boxcars arriving

from Kansas where steam presses

spewed thousands of glitzy cards

for birthdays, graduations, griefs.


I couldn’t take all that sentiment

and quit to paint snowplows orange

at the state highway garage.

Rushing past this warehouse with flag


proud on its stem, I remember

orange paint in my hair, everywhere.

Scrubbing myself for date nights

nearly deprived me of my skin.


Still, I liked working outdoors.

just as I like traveling by train

past these ordinary places

that adroitly rhyme with my life.