Work in the South
Get used to low pay,
Mindless jobs, believe
The lie that it matters.
Forced to stay for
Minimum wage inventory
Work 16 hours when 12
Is the usual max they allow.
Go the last 8 without break,
Hungry, tired, disillusioned.
Get off in the early a.m.,
Everything closed, sleeping.
Truck stop got shut down, so head
411 South to Etowah's far side.
See red topped diner descendant
Glowing in the early morning night,
Scotties is open. Scotties is open.
Hell everything good is closed.
2 a.m. crowd is not very lively,
Maybe a few travelers, a few drunks,
One rejected lover, a loner,
Grocery store inventory clerks.
Co-worker, always over dressed,
Looks ready for adventure.
Dress pants and shirt, black oxfords,
I'm in jeans, sneaks, Alice Cooper tee.
Counter girl, cook, and waitress
Wear a perplexed look as we enter,
Out of the ordinary, out of the ordinary.
We are pitiful news in a pitiful place.
Order the burgers and fries,
Wait and sip on our shakes.
The waitress and counter girl
Deliver our food, walking in step.
Like a packaged date, delivered,
They look awkwardly toward us,
Then each other. Food laid down, one
Says "eat hearty," the other "eat happy."