Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Price of Recession

He came home that night
Quiet, don't wake the family
Shoes off, sliding on socks
Like when he was young
When things were simpler
And a man could provide

Slide through the kitchen
And down the hall to the cellar door
Quiet as a wraith, silent shade
No sound as he descends
The old wooden stairs

Concrete floor, cold through socks
Sapping his energy with icy fingers pulling
Down into the cold earth, cold ground
Drawing him down to rest

To the workbench he moves
His father's tools arrayed before him
Surrounded by the past, what matters most
Invisible to the future, what should have been
He bows his head in shame.

In his pocket a handwritten note and
A crumpled form letter on letterhead
"Due to the economy we are forced
To release you effective immediately"
18 years a working man, never questioned
What he was supposed to do
Never asked for more than his due
Not yet 40

The stillness of the dark is broken
Quiet night cracked open by
A single shot. The dog barks in his pen
Tearing at the fence with ragged teeth
Desperate to be free, released from this snare.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

this poem is ... so quiet ... yet so powerful.

muttmutt said...

Thank you!