The Low-Paid Beautiful
Arthur is the worst smelling man you will ever meet.
Screaming and yelling at one another,
his children in and out of the bathroom all morning,
he has already left for work.
Nine people live in his three room apartment,
two of them are not family.
The moment his shift starts
he can’t wait to go home.
Arthur’s young boys and their ashy skin,
lay on what used to be a hardwood floor
stretching down a narrow hallway.
Balancing their snack filled stomachs, playing videogames,
they have everything in the world they could ever want.
The one lonely table in the center of the kitchen.
The chairs are missing and the only light
comes from the aqua clock blinking on the microwave.
Mattresses get in the way of opening the fridge,
the kids never have to travel far to eat.
Arthur carries a blade in his blue gym bag
in case old beefs resurface.
The little he has
makes it even tougher to lose.
What’s left of the pay stub goes to his wife Diane,
the rest goes to his girl MaryJane.
Cash to keep love, cash to get lifted.
No bank account, no raises in sight,
no promotion in this lifetime.
Gets to work earlier than his boss,
Arthur realizes waking up is a miracle.
His overgrown belly, salt and pepper beard and the way
he coughs after inhaling from his asthma pump.
Arthur limps when he walks, the shoelaces on his boots
are always untied and flailing.
Yeah, he is his family’s hero.
Humming Eternity By Jasen Sousa (Written During Emerson College Era)