November 20, 2008

Delivery trucks line Financial — that half-street stunted by train tracks
and Board of Trade barriers. Vehicle signage announces Document
Destruction, Evian, Ajax Security, Minute Maid. I walk swiftly
from condo to office, as pigeons scatter slowly at my feet, completely
assimilated, scavenging leftover Goldfish and Sun Chips.

Men push dollies laden with soda to the back doors of sandwich shops,
up loading dock ramps, bound for vending machines and refrigerated cases
where they will sit next to bottled water and cups of sliced fruit.

The CEO decides to refocus the firm on first principles, which results
in the obsolescence of an entire division, which empties a floor or two
of a Louis Sullivan building, which means fewer workers buying coffee
and bagels and yogurt, which bankrupts the old man in the lobby,
which means one less delivery truck on Financial, which means Carlos
must take a second shift to make up the lost wages, which is why he stumbles
from lack of sleep and spills soda cans on the sidewalk before me.

I walk around the cans. My boots crunch
on the salty streets, my face aches, fingers are numb, nose runs.
A train curves shakily round its elevated corner, delivering the next wave
of office workers to the newsstand, the nail salon, the flower shop.

by Holly Wehmeyer

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  1. November 21, 2008 at 8:13 am

    I like this, I like puzzling over the connection between money and what happens in the world, and this is a vivid view on that.

  2. Aunt Sheryl
    November 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Deep thoughts and wonderful composition, Holly B. We continue to be
    amazed and so very proud of you.

  3. Jane
    November 26, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Your vivid description of life in the bid’ness end of the city is like one honking big part of the American food chain — big fish eating little ones without considering anything but their own hunger.

    Nicely done!

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