Even in the Hamptons

I'd stayed in some stranger's bed
a happy home away from home
while working out of town on Long Island
and was driving out against the piercing sunrise
to Montauk, a place they call "The End"
when a stoplight revelation
woke me from the recap
right in time to read the score.

In the shelter of a bus stop
three Latin day laborers
watched an old man on his knees
pounding lengths of tarnished copper
ripped from a house
to cram into his backpack
and sell at current scrap rate.
The light turned, releasing me roadward
but I'll never forget that man's sweat
at seven in the morning
stealing and toiling
and there with the aliens
in the wealthiest part of New York State.

I wonder if that bus ever came.

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