Making Wages by Barry Yeoman

Give credit to those who ruin everything
they touch, that we might know the beauty

of ruin. It’s where we are going.
The largest pile of rubble is our friend.

Hung-over, the birds go cockamamie
in the morning, chit and chatter their way

into the channels and sleepy hollows of the skull.
Soon I’ll be off to the plant again, where

robots sizzle and spark, missing every
coffee break. The laundromats hum toss and

rumble, and every paycheck’s a dollar short.
In college, all I wanted to study was literature

and art. “What are ya gonna do with that?”
the marketing majors asked. After years in the

factories I guess they had a point. They’re still
scheming for a living, and I’m still writing it out.

But under the scars of the heart remains an un-
tainted river. I’ll work my shift and drive ten miles,

so deep in thought I won’t remember the ride.
I’ll be star-blinded and bent-beamed, learner

of fence-posts and path-rocks, dreamer of moss,
stamina of iron. Steam is money, stars are time.

Barry Yeoman
Barry Yeoman photoBarry Yeoman was educated at Bowling Green State University, The University of Cincinnati, and The McGregor School of Antioch University in creative writing, world classics, and the humanities. He is originally from Springfield, Ohio and currently lives in London, Ohio. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Red Booth Review, Futures Trading, Danse Macabre, Harbinger Asylum, Red Fez, Vine Leaves, Crack the Spine, Burningword Literary Journal, Two Hawks Quarterly, Wilderness House Literary Review, The Rusty Nail and others. You can read more of his published work at