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Detroit Grease Shop Poem Analysis

Author: poem of Philip Levine Type: poem Views: 9

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Four bright steel crosses,

universal joints, plucked

out of the burlap sack --

"the heart of the drive train,"

the book says. Stars

on Lemon's wooden palm,

stars that must be capped,

rolled, and anointed,

that have their orders

and their commands as he

has his.

                 Under the blue

hesitant light another day

at Automotive

in the city of dreams.

We're all here to count

and be counted, Lemon,

Rosie, Eugene, Luis,

and me, too young to know

this is for keeps, pinning

on my apron, rolling up

my sleeves.

                    The roof leaks

from yesterday's rain,

the waters gather above us

waiting for one mistake.

When a drop falls on Lemon's

corded arm, he looks at it

as though it were something

rare or mysterious

like a drop of water or

a single lucid meteor

fallen slowly from

nowhere and burning on

his skin like a tear.


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