Coming Home from the General Foods
Plant in Lafayette, Indiana, 1983


I worked the night shift. Jell-O, Pudding Pops
were what we made there—went in at eleven,
stood on the assembly line and did the ops
then got off in the morning, right at seven.

In winter months, those times when I drove home,
the sun was rising, marking a new day
over the frozen Indiana loam.
The local NPR station would play

“dawn” music. I’d hear, as the rising sun
got brighter, “Morning Mood” out of Peer Gynt
broadcast with daylight making its first run
across the cold horizon as I went

my way—or I’d be taken by the spell
of “Ranz des Vaches,” the Rossini piece,
third movement, overture to William Tell,
narrated to the morning light’s increase.

Nature supplied occasion and the art
came from creative human hands — the show
well managed in each complementary part:
the morning sunrise and the radio.

David W. Landrum

If you have any comments on this poem, David W. Landrum would be pleased to hear them.