, February 03, 2023

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Job at the Junkyard

  •   1 min read
Job at the Junkyard
J A via Flickr

In 1973, this 18-year old dropout was dismantling cars and whatever else you do in junkyards, for eight pesos a day, the minimum wage then, which you could describe as generous since older, more bronzed hands were being paid half that.

The talyer was called Pasay Gandara, and it stood along the South Luzon Expressway, née Manila South Diversion Road. It is merciful to remember little of hungry years.

by Vincent R. Pozon

I remember the heft of car doors
wrenched off American cars, like claws
off a king crab, to be further mined
for door handles and window crank knobs

I remember the grease, that a quarter
could buy two sticks of Philip Morris,
I see the solace of cigarettes
and hardly any of the misery,

We see only the edges of memories,
pictures take a stab at reminding,
asking you to squint, to peer at a face
hoping you divine the face behind.

It is not time that deducts a fact, a face,
it is the work that we wallowed in,
work is the thumb that smudges the names,
turns all into blurred and black and white.

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