$7.25 – A Poem About Work and Misery

A poem I wrote a number of years ago when I was frustrated with low wage work. I'm sure some can relate.


For seven dollars and twenty-five cents
you can buy an hour of my life

To torment me with boredom
To assault me with monotony

No health insurance
No sick days
No vacation days

Twelve hour shifts
Barely any breaks
Standing all day

I go home
Take a shower
Eat dinner
Go to sleep

Being late by even a minute
Means automatic termination
Sometimes I wake up
In a frenzy panicking
Thinking that I overslept
I scramble to find my phone
And I realize I have two hours till work
I lie awake too anxious to fall back asleep

I can’t afford to go the hospital
Or go see a doctor
I dread the idea of my
Car breaking down

Each second
Each minute
Each hour
Of each day
Bleeds into the next
I can no longer tell them apart

To go back home and  try to rest
To return to where I've been
Sometimes I just want to close my eyes
And never open them again

              ~Christopher Ferguson

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