Green Hills Literary Lantern

Clocked In




I can still see your face as it makes

its way down the walk


of all the years stacked against you;

when food and money rarely met -


winters that lasted past the welcome

mat; jobs were jobs, careers were for


the lucky genes on the other side

of those divisional tracks - but you


always did whatever it took to put

food in stomachs, no matter how


soul-sucking it was. “Get an education” –

a phrase for dreamers; “Get a job” was


your speech. Still, I could see the pride

in those eyes – a pride that announced to


the world that you might be bent

in all different ways, but never broken -


in our world, that was like a trophy;

no shame in honest work, no shame at all


as I punch the clock with both hands,

winter creeping up my backside

Cathy Porter's poetry has appeared in Plainsongs, Homestead Review, Chaffin Journal, Pennine Ink, and other journals. She has two chapbooks available from Finishing Line Press: A Life In The Day and Dust And Angels. She lives and works in Omaha, NE and can be contacted at