Every Blessed Day

First with a glass of water
tasting of iron and then
with more and colder water
over his head he gasps himself
awake. He hears the cheep
of winter birds searching
the snow for crumbs of garbage
and knows exactly how much light
and how much darkness is there
before the dawn, gray and weak,
slips between the buildings.
Closing the door behind him,
he thinks of places he
has never seen but heard
about, of the great desert
his father said was like
no sea he had ever crossed
and how at dusk or dawn
it held all the shades of red
and blue in its merging shadows,
and though his life was then
a prison he had come to live
for these suspended moments.
Waiting at the corner he feels
the cold at his back and stamps
himself awake again. Seven miles
from the frozen, narrow river.
Even before he looks he knows
the faces on the bus, some
going to work and some coming back,
but each sealed in its hunger
for a different life, a lost life.
Where he's going or who he is
he doesn't ask himself, he
doesn't know and doesn't know
it matters. He gets off
at the familiar corner, crosses
the emptying parking lots
toward Chevy Gear & Axle # 3.
In a few minutes he will hold
his time card above a clock,
and he can drop it in
and hear the moment crunching
down, or he can not, for
either way the day will last
forever. So he lets it fall.
If he feels the elusive calm
his father spoke of and searched
for all his short life, there's
no way of telling, for now he's
laughing among them, older men
and kids. He's saying, "Damn,
we've got it made." He's
lighting up or chewing with
the others, thousands of miles
from their forgotten homes, each
and every one his father's son.
Continue reading on genius.com