Friday, July 27, 2007

Flight Check

We stand in the rain in a long line
waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
You know what work is--if you're
old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
-Philip Levine, ‘What Work Is’

And once you have that job, do you want it?
The toil beyond the waiting?

At the front of the line, you get an offer
You take it.
Years pass and you wonder, how did I get into that line?
Why that line and not another?

Suddenly, one day on your way to work, you look up as
a bird passes and shits on your head
You try to clean off your head, but somehow, no matter
what you do, the bird stays with you

Later that day, as you go about your tasks,
taking in the last memos and avoiding the prying eyes of
yet another new supervisor, you imagine the bird flying higher and higher

At lunch you engage in the usual banter with your work buddies
Initial attempts to talk about something else pass and eventually
you get to the same work complaints over coffee

By the time you return to your desk, your eyelids are heavy
and for a short moment you dream about soaring in the clouds until the phone rings and you begin to count out the afternoon,
but the bird is with you and sooner or later you are going to fly

July 17th