African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Langston Hughes, "Steel Mills" (1925)

The mills 
That grind and grind,
That grind out new steel
And grind away the lives 
Of men,--
In the sunset
Their stacks
Are great black silhouettes
Againset the sky.
In the dawn
They belch red fire.
The mills,--
Grinding out new steel,
Old men.

Published in The Messenger, February 1925

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