Out Near the Chemical Plant
Out near the chemical plant,
where my father worked his whole life,
there are fields of corn, glistening,
green and yellow, full of life.
The sun catches stalks and they dance.
There is also a black fungus called ergot.
It is poisonous and hallucinogenic.
No one is blaming the chemical plant.
Now my father is gone and
the plant lives on, pumping out its
heady interfusions, creating God knows what,
in secret, after dark, with towers
of flame high above the Schlenk flasks,
and acid baths, and burettes, and alembics,
and men in white coats and badges,
who pledge their nights to experiment,
to the Company, to the very human belief
that there is better living through chemistry.