Sunday, August 31, 2008

In Labor

In Labor

So they let you off for Labor Day,
like the 4th, like Memorial day,
and you have a coupla beers and
you char something on the Weber,
maybe listen to a ballgame,
your team still in the cellar.
Your cousin Bob comes over
with his face-lifted tit-lifted wife
and the Gameboy twins.
Nobody talks about labor except
that of delivering the twins
and there's some talk of her working
on her tan.
Your dad was in the strike of '52.
They drive a new Infiniti. It's gray.
Also the big one in '56. All summer.
You pick some tomatoes and corn
from the garden. Get salt and pepper.
They talk about the food
at Aquavit and Blu.
Your grampa rode the rails
in '35 and '36, stole chickens.
They have to go. Country Day School
starts tomorrow.
Your gramma was in labor
in the back of a Ford in '38.
There's a union man talking in the park
just a block away. Nobody listening.
A skateboard goes by.
The plant will close in 3 weeks.
You fall asleep in a plastic chair
from China, a little tomato juice
on your chin, a lazy fly circling.

- Ralph Murre


Bruce Hodder said...

Brilliant! And so true.
Somebody said to me at work yesterday, a man in his twenties, "Are we allowed to join a union?" (I was flashing my card under his nose and telling him to get wise.) "They won't like it," I said. "But that's just an added bonus."
"But ten pounds a month subs, I don't know if I can afford it." He said it. So have several others. One with a coke habit; one with D & G sunglasses perched on her beautifully tanned forehead.
Makes me crazy.

White Rose said...

I wish I could write as well as you. Like the person before me said, Brilliant! I love your work!