Marie WardAlonge

Childhood Stories

For the ones who care to remember,
That rundown bus was coming.
You knew it would not be late.
Around 5: 30 in the morning, you had to be ready.
That grouchy old driver would not wait.

He was on a schedule to meet the foreman.
Who was already complaining about your lack of production.
He didn't want to hear your excuses.
He could tell you to walk home, if he chooses.

Forget about dressing in your best attire or even your Sunday's best.
Where you were heading was no special event.
Plan to work about 12 hours.
You will get very little rest.

You could bring your mother's garden tool
(Or) borrow one from your employer.
Returning it on time and in good condition,
Don't step on his crops.
These were his rules.

To protect you from the sun's blistering rays,
You may want to wear long sleeves and a wide straw hat.
For when you do have an intermission,
On the ground in the cool shade you sat.

Now, lunchtime is around that corner.
Depends on who you work for, you may get that hour long break.
Fascinating on what you may see,
It could be your childhood friends, a can of pesticide, or an occasional snake.

As you walk in that rusty country store,
Honey bun, cold cuts, and an orange soda are on your mind.
You better hurry.
You're already lost twenty minutes of your precious time.
You barely have time to eat.
You know in a few minutes you have to go back to that unmerciful heat.
It's a nap you want to take.
You realize your body is stiff and it aches.

Back in the field,
You look forward to the weekend so you can chill.
For right now, you know Friday is a long way.
It's only Monday.
You have to get up early and start this process over the next day.
The worst thing about it- you may never see your pay.
On Saturday, your employer and your love ones get your money.
You try to deal with it.
You are probably a minor.
You just go outside and play.

Could this period really be the eighties?
Jobs like this still exist?
These were the questions that one asked.
As you stare in that mirror at your dusty acne face,
You ponder about your future
And you hope a good education will lead you to a better place.

Today, many people have paid their dues.
Still, the good jobs they lose.
They shouldn't have to revert to doing just anything.
While waiting for this nation to get back on the upswing.

Are we just having bad luck?
Or could it be the economy really sucks?
My reproach is beyond pride.
Perhaps, we all are becoming tired.
Every day, I continue to seek glory.
I carry on…
Writing my childhood stories.

Topic(s) of this poem: struggle

Poem Submitted: Monday, October 1, 2012
Poem Edited: Sunday, December 4, 2016

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