|Photograph- Rosary Higgins, from the the project: Illinois’ Hidden Poverty by Kini Takahasi|
On the eve of Labor Day, I share with you Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem Kitchenette Building.
How labor is organized and protected and dignified is directly linked to how we dream; to how those dreams lead us to a quality life. There is an unrelenting assault on labor in our country now and there is an orchestrated effort to strip any semblance of dignity and security our labor once gave us. These are dark times.
By Gwendolyn Brooks
We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,
Grayed in, and gray. "Dream" mate, a giddy sound, not strong
Like "rent", "feeding a wife", "satisfying a man".
But could a dream sent up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
And yesterday's garbage ripening in the hall,
Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms,
Even if we were willing to let it in,
Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,
Anticipate a message, let it begin?
We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!
Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,
We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.