2010 Barrett Winner

2nd Place Malik Elmadari

The Ford Rouge Plant
Stands only a half mile
Away from my house
Towering above
The neighborhood
Like a Taskmaster
While we played
At Lapeer Park
We, the Future
Assembly line
Who work on Christmas
And relish overtime
Who know little
About company policy
And Benefits
We, who appreciate
The opportunity to
Work for the opportunistic
After all, it is
Why our fathers
Came, and our grandfathers
Before them
That is why they built
A Barrier
Disguised as a Train Track
Spanning high
Across the Southwest
Border of the Southend
Containing us in a way
A child holds a fly
In cupped hands
There are opening
Cracks like Rifts
The locals call them
Underpasses or Tunnels
Three of them:
On Dix, Eagle Pass
And Wyoming
In the Three Seconds
Of darkness you are
In there, something happens
Something subtle but
Surrounding, like the smell
Of rain in the air.
And then you know,
When you come out
In a flash of light
You are in another
Place, and a thought
Will come to you
That it rains even
In the ocean
Where the Sirens sing
Where they lure men
To their death
With a certain song
They will find you soon
In some part of the sea
Or you will find them
In these Rifts, perhaps
These oceans of darkness
Go ahead
Strap on your seatbelt
As you tie your innocence
To the mast
Sail through
The rift is brief