This post was inspired by a picture post by stephanielane2012.

My deepest thanks to her for an excellent post.


Children go home after a ten hour day,

Hardly time enough to eat or play,

And a fancy personnel office ‘cross the dusty street,

Paint on architecture peeling,

Tired old faces inside dealing,

Forever anguishing how to make profit and payroll meet.


Rusty railing to the street leading,

Staircase maintenance needing,

The ancient concrete steps now beginning to crumble,

The state interceding with a goad,

“Go apply at Frederick Road,”

While the old neglected stairway continues its tumble.


Water works alias “Fifteen thirty four,”

Above the abandoned vine sealed door,

A lonely pillow trapped between window pane and shade,

The reservoir still standing proudly,

Screaming “OPELIKA MILL” loudly,

However the memories of old workers continue to slowly fade.


The brick cataract, eyeless windows,

Whistles when cold winter wind blows,

Broken window frames allow rain to dance upon the floor,

White-washed brick peeling over there,

Lovers hide in shadows to “Kiss and Dare”,

Until the sounds of angry parental footsteps at the old oak door.


Star-crossed lovers and old age mourners,

Discuss trash gathered in outside corners,

Where the local volunteer firemen once plied their trade,

A demand – – -“When the bell rings call”,

Belies words – – “SHUT –no water at all”,

While the glory of the mill’s historic past continues to fade.


The old sentry, an iron barred gate,

Allows no men in, it can not rotate,

Brush and trees creep story-by-story, up the factory wall,

The door “Washer Number Three”,

Wind urges it – hinges swinging free,

To teenagers and homeless vagrants it seems to call.


Broken windows, fenced perimeters,

Are its sad and forlorn delimeters,

Untapped wires carry electricity right past its door,

The Old Opelika Cotton Mill,

Stands as a beacon on the hill,

When our country offered a right to work and nothing more.


About Waldo "Wally" Tomosky

I am proud of my work life (not the jobs, just the work).  Bait monger  Lawn mower  Paper boy  Windshield cleaner in a drive-in theater (if you don't know what a drive-in theater is there is no sense in you reading any farther)  Snack shack janitor in a drive in theater (ditto for drive-in theater)  Milling machine clean-up boy in a tool and die shop  Plastic injection press operator  Centurion in the US Army  Factory hand  Apprentice boy  Tool and die maker  Software user manual writer  Computer programmer  Ex-patriate par excellence  Engineering manager  Software test manager  Retiree  University administrator  System analyst  Retiree (2nd try)  Licensed amateur paleontologist  Retiree (3rd try)  Shovel bum (archaeology)  Retiree (4th try)  Delivery driver  Retiree (5th try)  Graduate student (skipped AA and BA due to the level of difficulty)  Retiree (finally got the drift of it) I have been writing for fourteen years and have fifteen books on Amazon/Kindle. Some horror, some twisted, some experimental, some essay and a few historical. I think that now I will really, really, really retire and just write. Lets see if I can do retirement correctly this time!
This entry was posted in Another Short Story by Waldo and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Wally this has left me wordless. Thank you! You have put into words what I can not. You have moved me! Thank you, thank you, thank you…

  2. magsx2 says:

    Beautifully written. It is amazing what can inspire us at times. 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on This, that, – – – and the other thing and commented:

    Somehow, and neither of us really know why this happened, Stephanielane2012 and I created two posts that went together. Stephanie’s was a picture post and mine was a poetry post. I happened to run across them again and thought someone else may enjoy them. Thanks for listening.

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