It’s Labor Day in America. A day when, ironically, most of us get a rare day off from work.

To celebrate Labor Day, here’s a brief excerpt from “Every Blessed Day.” It’s an amazing poem from Philip Levine‘s award-winning What Work Is:

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…

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Leszek Leszczynski (Flickr).