Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor is the Curse of the Living Classes

My brother works where people have been shot at.

More than one.

Things happen.
He checks out customers.
He works odd hours.

He sometimes walks home from work,
at any hour. My husband works those odd hours too.

Waking, raising, driving, working--

not even the ass-crack of Dawn,
the small of her back,
where night caresses Her as she sleeps,
and she dreams of makers of doughnuts,
bakers of bread,
counters of tills, and cutters of meat,
all up and at their day
before she arises
rosy fingered
and red-handed
arriving at the scene of a day
already stolen from working people.

I witness her some mornings
as she breaks in a world where I was told to
admire the watchers of the
the new day.
And drive as the sun rises,
and in winter, drive home as the sun sets.

I have seen the sun come and go
from my car window,
my office time artificially lit,
and my life comes and goes with it--
and when homeward bound in winter's dark,
I think my day too short and done,
my best hours consumed
in a lighted yet lightless place.

I work in a neighborhood where
people have been shot.
I work where cars shoot past, drivers needy
to be speedy

to get there at the punch-clock time.

We aren't friends, the people I work with.
They are and they aren't.
I know them, and they know me.

And I think work is
necessary but how necessary
are all the things that come with it--

not the benefits or pay--

just the thing where one lends one's life
out to anything,
anything at all,
so long as bills are paid.