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“Monday, monday,” sang the Mamas and the Papas, “Can’t trust that day.” “Wish it were Sunday, my I-don’t-have-to-run day,” sang the Bangles. And we all know how easy it is to get those Monday blues. Why are we running? Is the answer seriously just that four-letter “w” word, WORK? Jobs and school that demand we be awake against our body’s will? Staring into a blind sun, coffee dribbling down our chins as we sit in traffic? Lists of things we need “to do.”

For today’s prompt, write a work poem. What’s your typical Monday look like at the office? What’s your dream job? Maybe write a list poem about the contents of your briefcase or toolbox. Are you a stay-at-home parent? What’s that look and smell like? Use the senses and specific diction to bring your job and work to life.

One of my fave poems about work? I give you Dorianne Laux’s “The Shipfitter’s Wife”:

The Shipfitter’s Wife

I loved him most
when he came home from work,
his fingers still curled from fitting pipe,
his denim shirt ringed with sweat
and smelling of salt, the drying weeds
of the ocean. I’d go to where he sat
on the edge of the bed, his forehead
anointed with grease, his cracked hands
jammed between his thighs, and unlace
the steel-toed boots, stroke his ankles
and calves, the pads and bones of his feet.
Then I’d open his clothes and take
the whole day inside me — the ship’s
gray sides, the miles of copper pipe,
the voice of the foreman clanging
off the hull’s silver ribs. Spark of lead
kissing metal. The clamp, the winch,
the white fire of the torch, the whistle,
and the long drive home.

 

 

 

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