Day Labor by Bob Carlton

at the rail
ticket in hand
hoping for work

peach pits pop tops
bottle caps butts

sudden train
whistle blast
just beyond
the chain
link fence
four engines
followed by one
hundred one cars

I’m still waiting.


ants and bees
work overtime
picking through the
leavings of the
sometimes employed


sun climbs
hope sets
every passing
car or truck
a carrier
of disappointment


one job

cost measured
in gas
wages paid
in rage


floorboard littered with
crumpled numbered
slips of paper
dated days
without work


in the hall
Saturday the

TV on
an escape
out of
here to
a place
inside and


new week
same old prospects

so much dust
skating across
the asphalt

a wind
cooling nothing

Bob Carlton
Bob Carlton ( lives and works in Leander, TX.

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