It’s no crime to take things,
like life, a little at a time.
At Brown Shoe Company he stitches
leather on the big machines, careful
not to sink the needle into his own hide.

There is no choice but work,
no luck but money:
a good boot, strong sole
brings ten dollars on the street.
At lunchtime, on five-minute breaks

he lets them fly
out of windows, land by the factory wall
where he finds them later
walking home.
He names greed the thief:

someone else’s stealing seventeen cases
puts guards at stockroom doors,
alarms on walls, throws
his modest business
off for weeks.

:: Mary Fell, The Persistence of Memory (1984)

No comments:

Post a Comment