Not Your Normal Sewing Circle
*The saga of working women in sewing factories a century ago depicting their trials and tribulations :*
Women trudge to work before the dawn
Wakening slips of eastern peeking light .
They'll work to dark for which they're born
Only on Sundays will they daylight sight .
Clutching a meager lunch while dreaming sweets,
Shoulders hunched forward, black shawl draped,
Their children left home must fend for themselves .
Through cold snow, they walk icy sidewalks caked .
Windowed high walls stand five stories tall ,
This building's the tallest towering the town .
It draws them as ants to sweet nectar dew,
They'll squint at dawn by dark they'll frown .
Zig zagging up a stairwell all must climb to
Their sewing machines waiting them in the gloom ,
Settling in, as a tiring long day looms ahead,
Their bodily functions they need hold to noon .
Their rate a must six days each week .
Is there a song their hearts would sing
Above the din of machine needle strike ?
It's family needs their wages must bring .
Bosses want window's low cost light .
Dust and lint encrusted, dirty they'll be
Worry not that sewers loose their sight,
Cause seekers, a job is really all they see .
A forgotten era, a time so long ago,
These windowed old buildings quiet, silent,
Echoes muted, walls still stand starkly tall,
To the wrecking ball, they remain resilient .
Is there a new tune that we hear being sung
By people who want to live in an apartment
That could be built behind these old high walls ?
Hope ! Please choose a date for your settlement .
Ronald C . Downie
The shirt factory at South Charlotte and Cherry St.
was most recently part of the Smith Pie Complex. It remains empty today waiting for a positive economic climate before retrofitting can begin.