What They Do for a Living
By Mary Brancaccio
“I’m not sure what the people of Scranton do for a living. ”
———————————––Tamara Shopsin, author of Mumbai New York Scranton
Plow highways during blizzards mold engine parts
for assembly overseas drive robots that fill juice cans
weld seals on oil tanker trucks roll molten tar in summer’s heat
hammer planks on decks (two hundred miles from home) scour
kitchens diaper babies feed someone else’s kids wash & fold
at Laundromats style & perm hair empty bedpans make custom
sandwiches in midday rush assemble ring pops restack
shelves at mini-marts load clothes on racks at Walmart overnight
guard warehouses after hours with just a flashlight wipe
urine splats off toilets in office suites at dawn steer tractors
through fields of food they can’t afford to buy scrub lip gloss
off café goblets drive bus tours for fans of The Office fix straps
on snowboards on weekends join the army for a paycheck
and healthcare sleep in trucks in winter (when working out of town)
gulp fast food meals for less than a Starbucks mocha latte
live on less than thirty thou pay bills late fish & hunt venison for food
never own a passport never see Mumbai and wonder
what you do.
Mary Brancaccio’s poetry has appeared in Minerva Rising, Edison Literary Review, Naugatuck River Review, Chest and in two international anthologies of poetry. Her chapbook, Mistress of Buttons & Keys was a finalist in Minerva Rising’s “Dare to Be” poetry chapbook contest. She currently lives and teaches in New Jersey.
Amy Kotthaus is a writer, painter, translator, and photographer. Her work includes poetry, Latin translation, abstract painting, and black and white photography. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Southern Maine, and she currently lives in Maine with her husband and children.