Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Another Temp Poem

They stand around a computer screen, looking
At a photograph of someone's great-great-grandmother
Just uncovered. Even the sepia and the cracks
And the glare from the screen do not diminish the woman's
Hard-lined face, weather-tanned hands, sallow chin.
In the photograph, she does not smile.

"How sad," one says, "working so hard
Did terrible things to women's bodies."
The four women nod, all of them,
Double chins shaking,
Eyes blinking beneath layers of myopic lenses,
Arms quivering like translucent jellyfish
Under the fluorescent lights.

(From the editor: She hates to spoil the poem, but she wants to make perfectly clear that this is not a critique of the women, but of their environment. After all, the full-time desk job is not the healthiest.)

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