NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 6: "To the Big Operators" by Ian Erinson[image:35]
To the Big Operators
I'm not an ornament, not some decal
decorating the locker where I keep
a plastic hat to cover my head,
plastic goggles to guard my eyes
& foam blobs to stop my ears.
I'm not that spot on the floor where somebody else stands
16 hours a day, doing the job I do.
Not an identical shirt with a different name tag.
I'm what is necessary. I'm the reason
for the machinery--this, this mesh of gears & clanking arms,
& the machinery of money, all those rolling belts to carry cash past & beyond,
& the machinery of government, senator's limo & law clerk's laptop,
the machinery of words & windbreakers, soy bean harvesters & summer blockbusters,
I'm the reason the machinery exists.
Any machine. All machines.
I, personally. Me, Ian.
I'm the reason priests created churches & churches created God.
Someday I'll remember that,
I & the others who are each the sole & perfect cause of every mechanism.
We'll take the controls. Work the machinery that works us.
Disassemble the ones we don't need & build better.
Where will that leave you? Don't worry.
Overalls to wash. Floors to hose. Layers of stinking gunk to scrape from trash compactors.
Hands that operate humans
can learn honest labor.
-- Ian Erinson
"To the Big Operators" by Ian Erinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.