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This poem is taken from PN Review 100, Volume 21 Number 2, November - December 1994.

Five Poems Robert Pinsky

Shirt
The back, the yoke, the yardage. Lapped seams,
The nearly invisible stitches along the collar
Turned in a sweatshop by Koreans or Malaysians

Gossiping over tea and noodles on their break
Or talking money or politics while one fitted
This armpiece with its overseam to the band

Of cuff I button at my wrist. The presser, the cutter,
The wringer, the mangle. The needle, the union,
The treadle, the bobbin. The code. The infamous blaze

At the Triangle Factory in nineteen-eleven.
One hundred and forty six died in the flames
On the ninth floor, no hydrants, no fire escapes -

The witness in a building across the street
Who watched how a young man helped a girl to step
...


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