Unfinished Business

Damn near 28 years
Joe had given to the company
along with his knees, back, and shoulders.
Since they eliminated his helper,
he did the work of 2 men.
He roasted in the summer
and froze in the winter.
The owner would not spend money
on air conditioners or heaters.
But he was now investing heavily in the mill
thanks to write offs and tax abatements.
The whole plant was to be automated
starting with Joes’s job on the assembly line.
Engineers came with blue prints and slide rules
then came millwrights with parts and tools.
More money was spent eliminating Joe’s job
than he would of been paid in 200 years.
He was given his walking papers
and told he was no longer needed.
He came to the plant office on payday
to pick up his final check.
In the office sat the soulless owner
and a bible thumping, backstabbing supervisor
who started out on the shop floor
and slithered his way to the top.
Joe gave them an icy stare
as he put a 357 magnum to his temple
ending five decades of memories
and any future pain.
His fellow employees all agreed,
it was a stupid waste of life.
As the men lost their jobs one by one
they came to know Joe’s agony,
Together they shared the same dark thought,
though no one said it aloud.
They all secretly wished
that when Joe was in that office,
he wouldn’t have been so frugal
with the other bullets in his gun.

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