Wayne Lee, 6/25/2018

Current Occupation: Retired
Former Occupation: Writer/Editor
Contact Information: Wayne Lee (wayneleepoet.com) lives Hillsboro, Oregon. Lee’s poems have appeared in Pontoon, Tupelo Press, Slipstream, great weather for media and other journals and anthologies. He was awarded the 2012 Fischer Prize and his collection The Underside of Light was a finalist for the 2014 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award in Poetry. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and three Best of the Net Awards.


Shift Work

Thirty-seven years they’ve lived in their bungalow. 
It looks the same now as when they were wed–
steps cracked, shingles missing, gutters sagging low 
as old clotheslines. 

They painted it once, back when Reagan won, 
slapped a dirt-brown coat on walls and trim, splashed
half the windows.

She does 12-hour nights down at the nursing home, 
sleeps till afternoon. He takes what shifts he’s given 
at the mill—swings, days, graveyard.

She smokes and reads paperbacks out on the porch, 
then ducks inside to watch TV. He tinkers 
with their trucks in the fluorescent glare 
of their basement garage.

I see them together once a month or so at dawn
or dusk, pickups passing in half-light.

One comment on “Wayne Lee, 6/25/2018
  1. Employment in the modern era: varying shifts, hourly pay instead of salaries, no benefits, 60- and 70-hour work weeks for the remaining salaried employees.

    This is written beautifully.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


thirteen + one =