Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On the Factory Floor

It’s like the “I Love Lucy” episode,

the one where she works in the chocolate factory,

but instead of chocolates I’m watching golden

flour-dusted potato rolls go by.

Instead of a frilly apron and big white hat

like the one Lucy wears, I have my waist length

hair tucked up into a fluorescent orange hard hat

and I’m wearing a white sweat drenched t-shirt,

jeans that haven’t been washed all week, and scuffed

brown leather boots.

I watch the rolls in groups of twelve—two rows of

six side by side. Like a part of the machine,

I take away extras and throw them

into a white plastic basket and when there aren’t

enough I take rolls out of the basket

and throw them back on the conveyor belt.

I squint, and see some rolls with black and white

machine grease splattered on them.

The manager says it is completely

edible, but no one wants to eat a roll that looks spattered

with pigeon poop.

Sometimes I grab an extra roll and hold it under my

hand, when no one is looking I rip off the top

and let the soft bread dissolve on my tongue.

I wish it were like “I Love Lucy”,

I would fail miserably, shoving rolls

down my shirt and into my mouth.

Everyone would laugh, and the show

would be over.

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