2 to 10ers

by Toni Marshall

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lyrics

This one is for the 2 to 10ers
serving your dinners,
keeping the bread baskets full
while trying to be breadwinners.
Not talking one percenters,
talking 15 percent minimum
or else you're cutting into bill money
to show your derision.
It's a living.
Though the wage is barely livable.
Budget decisions:
what can we go without
to support our children?
Paint on a smile.
Always keep it civil.
Remember, the customer's always right.
It's your job to always deliver.
Stockholders paid in dividends.
Workers take the minimum.
Job assurace by virtue
of the conditions they're living in.
So-called real jobs are limited,
and when you're living rent to rent,
you get the sense that
shit hitting the fan
is always imminent.
So you work at something
you have no controlling interest in
and get familiar with the limit
of what you'll be given for it.
You're living tip to tip.
Surviving palm to lip.
Sacifice yourself for your livelihood
like it's common sense.

We've known it all along.
From the parking lots to the empty malls
bright facades on crumbling walls.

The brands you've grown to love
welcome you to your corporate home.
Tile floors in porcelain tone.

Then away we go.
Days on end our faces bent
to be paid our wage
where our wage is spent.

"How are you doing today?"
Note the empathy. It's genuine.
Then back to script.
Manufacture laughter if they ask for it.
Feign concern
when they paint your mistakes
as disastrous.
It helps to be a masochist.
Mid-afternoon Lazarus.
Callous scrapes the mattress
as you pass from woke to sleeping.
Muscle spasms snap you back to it.
Now you're in the past again,
but now you know the other half of it
still not enough to fully fathom it.
but at least you see how the pattern fits.

We've known it all along.
From the parking lots to the empty malls
bright facades on crumbling walls.

The brands you've grown to love
welcome you to your corporate home.
Tile floors in porcelain tone.

Then away we go.
Days on end our faces bent
to be paid our wage
where our wage is spent.

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released May 29, 2017

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Toni Marshall Indianapolis, Indiana

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