Monday, September 05, 2011

Workers? Are there still workers?

In Labor

So, you’re still working, but 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 Jimmy comes over with his face-lifted tit-lifted wife and the Gameboy twins.
He drives a new Infiniti. It's gray. 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. 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 grandpa rode the rails in '35 and '36, stole chickens. They have to go. Country Day School starts tomorrow. Your grandma 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, juice of summer harvest on your chin, a few clouds gathering.

~ Ralph Murre

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