June 5th, 1968:

before work

I walked from one end

of the foundry to the other.

Engine lines were waiting

that morning

as the sun came up,

and someone


RFK was shot—


and the news

was on,

people running,

and overhead

there was a blue horizon

like Kansas


above Ford.

For a minute,

blue above the core room

and the furnace

and the dirt

and the electric fans

and the clogged river

taking a shit

in its bath,


for a million miles

above Cleveland.

When the time clock started—

the rest of my life.




John Stupp is the author of the 2007 chapbook The Blue Pacific and the 2015 full-length collection Advice from the Bed of a Friend both by Main Street Rag. His new book Pawleys Island will be published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.