For years Bobbie drove the pickup truck to Morrisville
every day to sew the flys in men’s pajamas at a factory
down there. When you spoke to her about the job,
she’d blush and turn on her heel like a little girl.
She was good. The best one down there.
It was piecework and she was fast.
She quit the sewing when she and Doug went to farming.

Bobbie is beautiful, or could be.
Under thirty years of work and plainness you can see
her body, see her face,
those definite, delicate features
She strides like a doe.
In spite of two brown teeth
her smile is warm and liquid.

Last summer she cut off a finger in the baler,
paid her farmer’s dues.

Now she holds her missing finger behind her when she talks.
She’s got something new to blush for.

:: David Budbill, in Working Classics: Poems on Industrial Life

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