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The Bitter Sauce

The feeling is like invisible wires
Wrapped dangerously around my throat
Tightening painfully but not totally choked

Applying pressure little by little
Though its close I can’t black out
Dangling precariously at the edge of my scope


Busily doing math in my mind
32 minus 97 is negative 65
With zero to bridge the deficit

Checking fractions of shared time
40 hours work plus 10 in overtime
Subtract rest, equals no personal time

My back against the wall and sure
That hand to mouth only applies
When the bills don’t take it all

Poverty is the bitter sauce
Soaking my honest bread
Starving the working poor in false pretences

Pretending to be grateful for one
Drop of water in the bottom of my bucket
That evaporated long before I got to it

Pretending to be pleasant with
Your customers here for the service
Smiling for my pay cheque to earn your profits

Pretending that the pressure
Is any easier to bear in silence
While the  cold wire around my neck tightens

Pretending to not be dissatisfied
While disguising my bravery
Determined to escape this modern day slavery

Ria – 2015

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