Burgess Needle

Rookie (June 19,1941 / Boston, MA)

MY BROTHER ONCE HAD A JOB Poem by Burgess Needle


My brother once had a job
Standing day after day
Before enormous scanning devices
Recording the past for the future.
My brother once had a job
Placing large volumes face down
Page by page to be lit and copied
Digitizing brittle sheets into binary code
My brother once had a job
Optical character scanners
Capturing every word of every page
My brother once had a job
Where he worked alongside
A Mi’kmaq Indian who believed
They were stealing souls
And when they were finished
That would signify the end of time
My brother once had a job
Where the Mi’kmaq shared his
belief and both of them quit
Before the end of their shift
Before they’d qualified for
Medical and term life figuring
They’d already done so much damage
Why wait around for coverage

Submitted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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