workzine

Ileanna Portillo, 9/21/2009

Current Occupation: none provided
Former Occupation: none provided
Contact Information: Ileanna Portillo is a poet living and working in Riverside, California. Her work is forthcoming in Snow Monkey Literary Magazine. Her chapbook Poems was published in August.

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Day Labor

Every Saturday when I come to work

my dirty windows look out on the street

where very short men wait for jobs

to offer themselves up.

At eight in the morning they are standing

on the sidewalk, their bicycles

Huffy and Mongoose

chained to a speed limit sign.

They wear baseball caps

and have silver-capped

front teeth.

By ten they are sitting in a line.

On the narrow sidewalk, they wait.

When their jobs drive up in late model trucks

The scramble begins—

knocking on windows, whistling,

and fingers in the air.

Only one or two will get it

out of the fifteen men who do this every morning.

The rest disperse.

The hot coffee burns my tongue.

*     *     *

back to WORK

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