The Pickle Factory On Columbus Ave

Mignon Ariel King

My mother worked in there once,
before it was abandoned, boarded up,
before the mayor caught a glimpse of it,
signed it up for conversion to low income
              housing.

She hadn't been in Boston long,
just needed a part-time college job,
so she stood two weeks, hip-high
in the icy, briny liquid with metal-barrel
              housing.

Then the supervisor said he admired her spunk,
but she really needed a different job
before she got pneumonia – such a skinny girl
He gave her a reference and a number for cheap
                housing.