The view of an essential worker

The view of an essential worker

My job wasn’t essential until the state of California deemed it so.

My feet are swollen, my back aches. This mask I wear has become a part of me. It digs into your ears, your face drips with sweat from morning until evening. I’m afraid I would experience anxiety if I was to ever misplace it.

Gloves, these were once a nuisance but now they are my shield.

My sword, a common smile, you will never see. A smile I am fighting to put on my face, behind my mask, behind my title as an essential worker. I use this smile to fight through everyday. I use it to advance through the ranks, to reach flailing at any sense of normalcy I can find.

Because everyday I wake up and I wait to feel what I have become. Am I essential to you? Or am I just another pair of tired eyes passing you by as you wait impatiently in our long lines?

I put the mask on, the gloves, and walk into the crowd, "Six feet, everyone. I need everyone to back up and spread it out."

Kyle Clark

Napa

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