foreign acquisition

there once was a factory
thrumming and humming
thriving in the forest

employing many from the nearby village
a high tech oasis
hidden within the mountains

an offer was made
the board of directors approved
the judge approved
and the factory was sold
to a foreign acquisition

at first it was business as usual
machines still hammered out their metal symphony
chemicals wafted sickly sweet
couriers made their deliveries and pickups
the workers made their paycheques

perhaps it was inevitable
profits are king to corporations after all
beholden to shareholders
and not to employees

the first wave of layoffs hit
old friends with tears in their eyes
receiving their walking papers
sure they received some severance
(less income taxes of course)
some token counselling
and after much delay
after the severance was long gone
and their bills overdue
finally some employment insurance
(less income taxes of course)

the village adjusted
some people got new jobs
some people moved away
some people vanished and were never heard from again
perhaps they were lost in a bottle
waiting for the rent to run out
waiting for the end to come

and it was business as usual
until the next wave of layoffs hit
this time
severance would be paid out
so long as the workers maintained their posts
for some weeks or months as the case might be
to help break the factory down
and ship it off to mexico

day by day
the machines were shut down
the stock shelves were packaged up
then the shelves themselves were dismantled
and put into trucks
and shipped off to mexico

music blared over the ancient speakers
entertaining a dusty vacant floor
with nobody left to listen
to the machines that hummed no more

a small village in the forest
struggles to pay its bills
with its heart ripped out
as elsewhere
greed consumes the lot