conditions of employment

Psychiatry 1: The Early Years – Poem 6 


conditions of employment
say a man can’t make extra arrangements
with any other employers

it has to be
one day rostered on
one day rostered off
in the heat
of the main kitchen
and that’s all

but at the end of a summer
when the weeks of hot sun
have done their work
and the crops
have reached a ripening
when pollen and storm warnings
are filling the air
there’s a farmer in porepunkah
with thirty acres of grass
to cut for hay
and to carry into storage
before the rain spoils it

and in the stanley hills
there are orchards
with their own brief seasons
of apples and pears
and sweet black cherries
to be picked and graded
and packed into cool stores

and the plumber
in town
needs an able assistant
for digging ditches
erecting spouting
and doing general handiwork

there’s a house to pay off
a refrigerator to buy
and the kids are wearing mud
into the neighbours carpets
because there is
no television at home

conditions of employment
don’t understand
the conditions of living
that a man with a family
has to meet


© Frank Prem, 2016

Next: sunday lunch with the ladies

Notes on: conditions of employment

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