Monday, 03 September 2018 22:19

lucky charms

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in Poetry
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lucky charms

lucky charms

by Martin Hayes

some of the people I work with
have made these spaces where they spend 11 hours a day
protected areas
they have developed elaborate internal defences
that have convinced them that these spots they sit in
are almost sacred
they use plastic figurines, pictures, stones and cactus plants
to ward off any bad luck that might try to invade them
as every morning these lucky charms
are unlocked from their lockers
and carried like sacred relics to their owners' workstations
where they will all day look down over them
spreading their good luck into the hearts of these men
who just want to get through another day
another week
to another paycheque
as Lenny places the 2 plastic Buddhas of his on top of his control box
and breathes in a deep breath
before his shift starts
as Antoine crosses himself and kisses the forehead of the plastic Jesus his mother gave him
just before she died
as Tommy places down his moonstone and mini cactus on the shelf above his control box
thinking that the spirits of the desert will now be watching over him
as Robbie never forgets
to pat or stroke the furry head of the troll that his dead sister gave him on his 7th birthday and Bill
blue-tacks back up the 4 pictures of his grandchildren around his monitor
as a reminder of why he is still controlling and Lucas
hangs a picture of a man starving in a potato field on his headphones' hook
as his

we all have things we believe in,
to thank
for this job
for this still beating blood
for the lady who makes a home for us to come home to every night
for the car that fires up when you twist the key the numbers
that give us a much needed tenner on the Thunderball
on the last weekend of the month
for the neighbour who helps you lift the freezer up the stairs
watches over your children when you're late home from work
for the insanity of kindness we are still able to show each other
the wine we are yet to drink
the hot water we bathe in
the wolf unable to find your door yet

we all have things to thank,
that we believe in
for no other reason than it feels right,
because without them
we would take even more magic away from the world
than already has been

This poem was one of the five winners of the 2018 Bread and Roses Poetry Award, sponsored by Unite.

MH the employed poor

Read 414 times Last modified on Monday, 03 September 2018 22:30
Martin Hayes

Martin Hayes has worked in the courier industry for 30 years. His latest collection is The Things Our Hands Once Stood For, published by Culture Matters.