Field Work

Against the Current, No. 219, July/August 2022

Sam Friedman

I listened in wonder when
Alex first told of bobtailing his load
from PMT to Tarzana,
or John T recalled his years
being dispatched from the hiring hall
to haul doubles from the City of Industry
to West LA,
or Mannie Labastida moaned about
break-bulk barns that
stole the Local’s jobs.

Within a year, I could toss these terms
of drivers and their daily struggles
like a juggler’s balls,
one, two, three, even more,
flying scintillating beneath the smoggy light
but my renditions rang facile in my ears
since I had not grimaced through hernias while piling packages
the pains of potholed kidneys,
nor daily harassment by dispatchers
that made their lingo sing.

Home Planet News Online #5 2018

July-August 2022, ATC 219

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