By Courtney Conrad
for Stephen Hill and Karen Smith
We come in the wee hours or at night.
Rustling hazmat suits and snapping gloves
dividing rooms by the hours.
Faces tight from concentration;
steady hands and unblinking eyes mixing chemicals;
squeezing sponges and mops like juice boxes.
We polish desks like car hoods,
rebound apple stalks beside bins,
sweep lipstick stained masks.
Our cloths, brooms and trollies whisking danger away.
We scrub our crevices before piling into our vans.
We are two weeks from retirement; six months
from graduation; sixteen hours from shelf stacking.