Equal Pay

Equal Pay

By Fern White

We work side-by-side on the assembly line down by the plant

Lightning fast we insert parts that fuel the zeros and ones

That zooms down the info highway

We grab lunch at 12:00 then knock off at 5:00

Then jump in out trucks for the long evening drive

We do the same things to get the job done

So, how come your hour is a lot more plum?

 

Do your eggs, your milk cost more than mine?

Is you gas, your oil, a lot more prime?

Does the air you breathe come at a premium?

I’m just wondering, ‘cause I don’t pay none

We do the same things to get the job done

So, how come your hour is a lot more plum?

 

We stand at the machine 8 hours a day

Side by side we conquer the computer world’s stays

Does your instep, your heel swell and throb much more than mine,

And when our hands get nicked but sharp objects

Do you bleed liquid gold, and I blood, do you?

We do the same things to get the job done

So, how come your hour is a lot more plum?

 

I am equal to you: though you are he and I am she

I am equal to you; I too am the bread winner of my family

I am equal to you, my 77 cents does not equal your dollar

I am equal to you, but why is progress so slow in coming?

We do the same things to get the job done

So, how come your hour is a lot more plum?

 

 (Author’s note, this poem won second place in the CUNY Kingsborough Poetry Competition in Spring 2013

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