Tuesday, May 18, 2010

poem of the day 05.18.10


joey talks to me on the bus
because we’re the last ones left

he’d exhausted one guy
talking about the mets
and an old lady, asking her what she had
in her grocery bags

joey’s come on is he asks you
what time it is

then he has you

then he wants to know your name
and what you do for a living

joeys’ been driving a truck
for the city for twenty-two years

it’s a good job
but times are hard in the city right now

he hopes that he can hang on
try and make it until the economy improves

joey doesn’t understand
just letting people go

good people

union people

he says that unions are only around
to collect their dues
while the rest of us collect pink slips
and unemployment checks

joey shakes his head and tells me
that he just wants to drive his truck
and be left alone

he does a good job, he says

joey wants to go home with his beer, watch his shows
and go to sleep without having to worry

it’s an all right life
it’s good enough

joey has twenty-two years and the unions
and the company want to take it all away

he asks me how that can happen to a guy
to a city, he says

i tell him that i don’t know

i tell joey that i have my own beer waiting at home
and that i’m worried the landlord
is going to jack the rent

joey nods because he knows
you can’t fool a guy like that

i tell him that this is my stop

i shake joey’s hand and i get off the bus

he waves to me from inside

joey holds up his plastic sack of beer and smiles
then he starts talking to the bus driver
as the bus makes its way down 78th street

he wants to know the time at first

i wonder what else joey is saying

then i don’t

i walk off toward home.


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Nailed this portrait, Jay ...

Sunshine and Shadows said...

I like your poem.

Bukowski's Basement said...

In a weird way I like Joey ... We need more Joeys ...

"joey wants to go home with his beer, watch his shows and go to sleep without having to worry..."

The new American dream...