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Old Larry
Matthew Sradeja

How can I tell you about Larry?
He started working at MFC five months
after I was born
and that was 39 years ago.
He can remember being stuck
in the factory for 2 and a half
during the blizzard of ’78.
You know Larry,
pretzel crumbs dried and crusting up
at the corners of his mouth,
He started out as a press operator.
He got involved with the union.
He has seen lock outs, walk offs,
strikes and layoffs
he even did a stretch
as a committee man
got a bid job and held it for
18 years.
Larry man, back in shipping
always riding around the shop
riling everyone up.
Drinks like a fish, Larry.
Fishes like he won the lottery,
Larry for Christ sake!
He slapped his wife at the 4th
of July party in Bill Jeko’s
back yard in 1994
no one talks to him anymore
his wife left him
he doesn’t have any family
and tells everyone that
his lousy neighbors
sponge off of him.
There are rumors going around
that he pops pain pills
like all the time
Yeah Larry,
he was on vacation around  
Thanksgiving came back
and got his foot crushed
by a fork truck.
I think he has clocked out
for the last time.

Matthew Sradeja grew up on the East side of Toledo on the right side of the tracks but, the wrong side of the river. I have worked in the Automotive industry and the glass industry in a variety of occupations. I started going to poetry readings in 1999. I have been in a few print and on-line zines. Some of my poems can be found at Full of Crow, red fez, rusty truck, spirit caller, and a few other spots. I believe there is energy in poetry and I am learning how to use it, wisely.