by Joan McNerney
After punching in, she opens her
register, counts up bills and
unwrap rolls of coins. Her arms ache
from yesterday. From pulling together
store items, piling them in bags.
Another day in this dismal place.
Dim lights and cool corridors.
No clock, no water fountain,
no public restroom. Aisles stocked
with cans, boxes, frozen foods.
Pushing carts full of packaged meat,
donuts, cases of beer...customers
creep up in line. Trance-like they
press forward with crinkled coupons,
handing out cash or swiping cards.
A camera is poised on her.
Registers are monitored and
the number of sales counted.
Making sure nothing slips by,
“The Man” is always watching.