Stealing Clay From The Crayola Factory

Bushkill Creek churned past
the old plant where
my Aunt said every Wednesday
the foreman filled a bin
with modeling clay
that didn’t measure up.
Kenny and I crept in
after the second shift workers
poured their thermoses
out on the lot and drove home.
We stood on barrels or crates
to reach the big trough
where blocks of clay
dropped from a shoot all day
and melted into boulders
from red to gray.
Heaving handfuls
over the side, one would fill
a sack while the other mined
for bright finds, greens and yellows,
the blues that looked like new
denim or the sky
reflected off the Bushkill dam.
Done, we’d squeeze back
under the fence, leave
some blood on the wire
or a sneaker stuck
back in the clay bin
like a tar-pit bound tiger,
then bike home with a haul
our friends admired,
and together build volcanoes
filled with baking soda and vinegar.
We’d watch eruptions over and over
until the whole little town
was swallowed in our ash.

Photo of Grant Clauser, author of "Stealing Clay From The Crayola Factory"

Grant Clauser

Grant Clauser is the author of the books Necessary Myths (2013) and The Trouble with Rivers (2012). Poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Cortland Review, The Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, and others. By day he writes about electronics and daydreams about fishing. He blogs occasionally at Twitter: @uniambic