Rest in Peace Ford Assembly line!
It’s so sad that you had to close.
The thousands that once worked within,
Through actions that their bosses chose,
Now face economic decline,
True hardships and personal woes.
Faceless men in power’s tower,
With careless stroke of fortune’s pen,
Can change the fates of everyone,
Regardless of the “where” or “when”.
As fruitless hopes in final hour
Don’t stop its happening again.
Submersed in such a short-term view,
There’s nothing to stay loyal to.
The St. Paul Ford Assembly plant was operated from 1925 until it was closed down in 2011. It primarily made pickup trucks, particularly the Ford Ranger. The promise of cheap hydropower was the chief reason why Henry Ford agreed to build a plant in St. Paul. The dam was initially completed in 1917, making it one of the oldest on the Mississippi river. In my poem, I mention “happening again” because several businesses in Minnesota moved out of the state due to high taxes and a political environment unfriendly to large corporations. Other recent casualties are Lockheed Martin, and Northwest Airlines. Feeble attempts by the Governor and Senators failed to keep the plant from closing.
Another aspect touched on by this poem is the shift in corporate management in recent years. Instead of treating employees as a valuable resource, companies no longer run by founding inventors, engineers, and capitalists, are now run by MBA’s who only care about the short-term impact of a fickled stockmarket and treat employees as expendable. As a result, the current employee pool has no loyalty to any company either.
This poem is a Sonnet. In researching Sonnets, I didn’t find a format exactly like this one. It is most closely related to a Spenserian Sonnet in that it consists of two septets with closing couplet, rather than three quatrains with closing couplets. Also, instead of playing off the classical aabb or abab rhyme scheme, this one is closer to the abcb scheme. The rhyme scheme I used for this poem is:
abcbab defede gg.
The meter is tetrameter. The lines are iambic, except that the first line of each stanza is trochaic.
This photograph was taken by the author himself.