Where they make paper plates

I watched today as all the short people

Labored in their shop

Miles below the tall people making money from their crops

 

Thousands of miles of machines

baring down their heat

As the workers tried to keep up

Thirteen hours on their feet

 

Until it’s time for home by bus

Weary souls put up their cleats

Rickety fridges covered in dust

Fridges bereft of bread and meat

 

A table balances stale cereal boxes

A cat bowl by the door

Single lightbulb shines on the clock as

A small child’s playing on the floor

 

In an open window a spider waits

In the quiet you hear the highway roar

A hopeful fly he meets his fate

Trapped too now in a worker’s war

Tangled slaves all American made

No exit signs on the exit doors

 

Downstairs someone shares a cigarette

Waking a barking neighbor’s pet

Heat lightening pauses everything

For a second it’s worth the rent

 

Mother flips the calendar page

it’s off by many months

no one ever moves the magnet names

They were put there by her sons

Holy gospels nnocently misspelled

And are missing half their fronts

Jesus saves it’s just as well

the thoughts are where they want

 

I watched today until it went away

Like the creaking of cheap beds

Tomorrow and the next year they’ll be at it all again

Until it’s over and they lie her down

Still the spiders will be fed

And the child will grow to upset the dog

And the sun will rise and set

3 thoughts on “Where they make paper plates”

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