5:30 Shift


You are inside, and the smell of
cooking heat,
muggy bacon,
starched flour and cardboard is
around you. Hand out
plastic menus and answer the
phone, hang it up with
plastic-against-plastic bang –
say your weekend was good
even when you wanted
to disappear into Sunday.
Watch the sunrise break
over the high glass windows,
listen to your coworkers complain
about the blinding
light that lashes right at
cash register level. Demand a 50
cent raise for early-onset blindness
from the colors

or watch with a tickle
in your heart, that
little secret pinky-sworn
when you first rose to see
the glaring digits of 4:30 on
your Walmart alarm clock,
when you first saw the eclipsed
sun in the morning
red and pink but
unfortunately moored over a
plain electronics shop
instead of a dramatic ocean.
When the picture wasn’t worthy
of anything
but your personal phone
when you stared right into
the blinding light
because it made you smile.


  1. Demand a 50
    cent raise for early-onset blindness
    from the colors

    Haha. Love this. I woke in a very loud environment and similar thoughts go through my head all the time.

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