A Working Day

His day starts before light.

He wakes early, moves quietly,

eats quickly and leaves the house,

belly full but feeling empty,

body still aching from the day before.

Two buses to get there, dirty bright

vehicles filled with silent hopeless people

just like him. Clocking in, proving

that he is here, now, that he exists,

he changes into his overalls, pristine,

clean and white. They will be smeared

in shite by the end of the day.

He lifts things, because that is what he does,

what he is good for. All day, every day,

twenty times his own body weight

he picks up and carries and puts down.

Ten hours later he goes home,

two buses filled with chattering people

talking about their lives, laughing.

He cannot speak their language.

In the house, fed, rested, he smokes alone

in the garden, looking up at the dark sky

filled with stars.

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