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“Workin’ Hard, Havin’ Fun” (Poem)

on March 18, 2014

The Scarlet K


Workin’ Hard, Havin’ Fun
by Kieran McKiel

2:00 PM
The worker’s day begins
with the empty-can-clatter of pushing carts
and the store’s anti-septic perfume
Patrons wrapped in rotund layers shuffle through the aisles
boots leaving gooey mud-slush trails
Each has a dronish inquiry: “Where’s the baby food?”
“Is the new Xbox out yet?”
The worker would tell them he doesn’t know
but store policy dictates: “Never Say No”

5:52 PM
A cart has been left outside
crumpled newspapers in its carriage
The worker whittles away time til his break
so he brings it in to fill the vacant corral
He glances up at check-out
at the girl with eyes like windshields in the dark
and hair like rivulets of dew on windows to the evening
His jawline with twitches words he has yet to speak
10:23 PM
The store is quiet now
cashiers leave their stations
trash bags bloated with…

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