I work for a living

following in the family’s footsteps

eight hours inside and yearn for

an hour-long lunch outdoors

in the watery spring sun

I come from

white-collar

white bread

white middle class

and you’d think we would

have adapted to it by now, like blind

cave fish or albino moths turning soot-colored

after enough offices occupied

grants written, students taught

we got years of chalk-dust on our fingers

got glasses on our brown-noses

ties

blouses

elbow-patches

what we wear, how we speak

these are the indicators of our labor now

not bricks laid, acres cleared

hours punched on the clock

.

I work for a living

sliding sleepy from one end of

a silver thread and back again

ten times a week

dormant, a paperdoll commuter

dusty folded limbs remembering

as if in dream

what earth felt like against bare heels

free from professional footwear

backbones remembering soreness not

from non-ergonomic chairs

but from swinging

brooms

pick-axes

children onto hips

remembering necks loose from collars

white blue or pink

wages earned in sweat

and breaths

back when work meant making

meant something worth doing

Advertisements