The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday, Travel, Brookside Gardens

Twelve-Hour Shifts
By Jill McDonough

A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home
to real life. Showers, eats supper, plays video games.
Twelve hours later he comes back, high-fives, takes over the drone

from other pilots, who watch Homeland, do dishes, hope they don’t
dream in all screens, bad kills, all slo-mo freeze-frame.
A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home.

A small room, a pilot’s chair, the mic and headphones
crowd his mind, take him somewhere else. Another day
another dollar: hover and shift, twelve hours over strangers’ homes.

Stop by the store, its Muzak, pick up the Cheerios,
get to the gym if you’re lucky. Get back to your babies, play
Barbies, play blocks. Twelve hours later, come back. Take over the drone.

Smell of burned coffee in the lounge, the shifting kill zone.
Last-minute abort mission, and the major who forgets your name.
A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home.

It’s done in our names, but we don’t have to know. Our own
lives, shifts, hours, bounced off screens all day.
A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home;
fresh from twelve hours off, another comes in, takes over our drone.


Another quickie since we've sent Daniel and Adam back to work and school and are finally collapsed in front of the TV watching Madam Secretary. Daniel's flight was just after noon, so we dropped Maddy off at work at 10:30 and took him to the airport, then had lunch and headed toward College Park with Adam via Brookside Gardens, where we saw the last of the chrysanthemums and the trains set up for the holiday display as well as the afternoon sun on what's left of the leaves. When the sun started to get low, we dropped him off at his apartment, then stopped at the food store on the way home and did a bunch of cleaning up once we got there. Tomorrow I will deal with piles of laundry!







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