after the meeting the women go to lunch.
the waitress watches, awkward on her high heels
like some odd hoofed animal, while we decide.
a smile is stapled on her face like part
of the menu. small puckers of burns
are splattered part-way up one arm. she is
all of us, our first lurch into the working
world, learning to sell service, it is
where we begin, before we become
the women who go to meetings, the ones
who are never satisfied, we are pains
in the management ass, we're as tired of it
as they are, but still we keep asking,
saying, 64% is not enough, the waitress
is still who we are, coins rattle
their judgments in her pocket.
when she brings us our bill she asks
is there anything more that we want.

:: Leona Gom, in For a Living: The Poetry of Work
(Nicholas Coles & Peter Oresick, eds., 1995)

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