Valuable Work

Marcey Gray


Again I awoke to the same early gray that makes waiting for escape slower than usual. I don the customary casuals that prophesize their fate of oil and grit -
Put on the make-up that makes me feel like something special
And I start to walk.

The mornings here are just like night, trying not to freeze under street lamps and pocket lighters.
I warm my breath against tattered mittens and kill the breath with a cigarette -
Make my way to the bus stop and meet the same sorry fools who stand
And I start to talk.

Occasionally shivers creep into the conversation and break words of the weather in two.
Then the bus finally makes its way to the corner of Auden and Eastview -
We load onto the bullet that will lead us along to the rest of the day
And I start to dream.

I look out the foggy windows and see into the lit houses bigger than mine.
People inside scurry for toast and coffee while others dodge to a running car -
"I see the same thing every day," I think inside my mind
And I start to scream.

An hour passes shared with the same people with thoughts akin with my very own.
One by one they emerge back into the gray to walk a few more steps of freedom -
My turn soon comes, my freedom taken as I enter the doors
And I start to perform.

Eight long hours pass in a haze where the body works while the mind, it sleeps.
A buzzer revives me and I look to the clock and wonder where my life left me -
Every morning on these steps of this slave skill, when I give up
And start to conform.