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March 29, 2022

The Last Day

they made the announcement a little after 3—
over the staticy crackily sound system…

we were all to gather at the loading dock

where the big trucks got loaded

and slept the night

and the men who loaded them got loaded—haw haw 

where the muscular mostly black men 

filled said trucks accompanied by

old rust colored fans blowing hot air cyclones 

on frenetically hot summer days and nights 

when time seemed to disappear or passed anonymously——

so we all gathered at the river so to speak

where they told us today was our last day

the warehouse of conveyor belts - 

large dented metal carts

forklifts and hand jacks

air conditioned rooms of candy

large freezer areas of hamburger boxes

pallets of pizza dough stacked high

sugar and a thousand other things

was closing immediately—-///

all those goods would be moved another time

to a different location 

supervisors stood at the exits

to make sure none of us former employees 

helped ourselves to anything on the way out

like hershey bar souvenirs 

frozen hamburger patties 

or jars of Mother Luigi’s spaghetti sauce—-

there were rumors there was some trouble afoot

but this hit like an anvil on the foot

on top of the coyote’s head

I think the term ‘stunned silence’ would be appropriate 

the workers were flummoxed, befuddled, gobsmacked

I took some of the little time remaining 

to look for my blonde friend to commiserate 

but I didn’t see her anywhere 

I guess she wasn’t looking for me

but we’d both be looking for jobs

along with a hundred and fifty or so

new members of the newly formed shell-shocked and dumbfounded union