Sylvia Plath





Night Shift

It was not a heart, beating. 
That muted boom, that clangor 
Far off, not blood in the ears 
Drumming up and fever 

To impose on the evening. 
The noise came from outside: 
A metal detonating 
Native, evidently, to 

These stilled suburbs nobody 
Startled at it, though the sound 
Shook the ground with its pounding. 
It took root at my coming 

Till the thudding source, exposed, 
Confounded in wept guesswork: 
Framed in windows of Main Street's 
Silver factory, immense 

Hammers hoisted, wheels turning, 
Stalled, let fall their vertical 
Tonnage of metal and wood; 
Stunned in marrow. Men in white 

Undershirts circled, tending
 Without stop those greased machines, 
Tending, without stop, the blunt
 Indefatigable fact.