The Stench of My Middle Finger

All day my middle finger does a job

Keep a hole open while my colleague extracts valuables

When the job is done and I remove my middle finger I know the next six months will be stained by a stench which sticks with me tirelessly

The job pays me three months worth of labour and I come back every time because I have to

The doctor said I run the risk of passing this horrendous smell onto my unborn child

I haven’t told my partner

We already have a two year old daughter and she’s developed an allergy to my middle finger; so has my grandmother — who looks after my daughter during the dreaded months

I’ve been saving up and hopefully sooner than later I’ll be able to find a way to use all of this money to stop the smell

***

The hospital had to be cleared after the arrival of my first son

My partner and I haven’t stopped shedding tears

We sit on the other side of the plastic room

His little body oozing that all too familiar odour

But, ten times stronger, an entire ward is Under quarantine

I’ll need to work more shifts

Something I’ve never done before having feared what it would do to my middle finger but for my child I’ll do anything

So stressed my sense of smell has gone anyway

Maybe they’ll find a cure
Or is it remedy
I don’t know

Got to keep on. What other alternative is there any way?

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