Stiff in gray air, a flag accents
a slab of industrial landscape.
Dull windowless metal-sided
warehouse capped with ventilators.
Who works in such a bland setting?
I lasted two weeks in Hallmark
Card’s facility in Enfield,
sorting greetings for shipment,
unloading boxcars arriving
from Kansas where steam presses
spewed thousands of glitzy cards
for birthdays, graduations, griefs.
I couldn’t take all that sentiment
and quit to paint snowplows orange
at the state highway garage.
Rushing past this warehouse with flag
proud on its stem, I remember
orange paint in my hair, everywhere.
Scrubbing myself for date nights
nearly deprived me of my skin.
Still, I liked working outdoors.
just as I like traveling by train
past these ordinary places
that adroitly rhyme with my life.