Whenever I am able, I labor hard to put food on the table both yours and mine.

I smile at you even when I'm awful tired, but all you show me is disdain. I must be insane to take the abuse you lay upon me each and every day.

You bark your orders to me without even a glance; you act as though you were in a trance.

I am not deaf, I am standing by your side and I hear all the snide remarks and yes they hurt to the bone until I go home, but your intent was this from the start to show just how smart you think you are.

You do not see the weeping and distraught that you have wrought, fearing more hurt to come, it is done in secret seclusion, where no one will hear, in a freezer, a dark closet, or empty room, reappearing way to soon with tears wiped away this day.

We cannot whisper a word in defense, no matter the truth makes no difference.

You throw a dollar bill down with a frown as though it were a hundred, often this is for an hour's work, and this is no joke. "Sorry honey that is all I have, be grateful, I will get you next time around" I know the "next time" will never be found.

I am appreciative for what little I get, it is the treatment that makes me so upset.

I work until my muscles ache, most often from five am until way past eight, and I have many more long hours to go this day.

But have no doubt, I'm grateful for this work as I am not alone; you see I have four mouths to feed at home.

A smile every now and then comes from someone who seems to understand and shows respect that is returned in kind makes the pain go away, most every time.

by John I Nash

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