Missy Goes to Work

Missy takes the bus downtown
gets off at Sixth and Vine by the YMCA
where she works in the daycare soothing
crying children whose own mothers worked
in offices three floors above.
Life is hard but not so hard,
a punch card slipped into a slot,
the machine slap of a time stamp,
the overheated scent of swimming pool chlorine
the echoed voices from the spin class down the hall.
Missy finds the key from her bag,
makes a small deposit of her worldly possessions
into a yellow metal locker not so different
from all the metal lockers at school,
all the metal lockers at the bus station,
she turns the key and tucks it deep into her pocket,
pushes through a door into primary colors,
soft bears and plastic spoons,
where babies were already crying
and diapers were already in need of a change.

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