Mower of lawns,
painter of fences;
slash-soda jerk,
Old- folk odd-jobber,
potato peeler
donut seller

Early vocations of a
professional amateur,
experience invaluable;
financed my adolescent
frivolity while banking
life lessons.

I still make regular

Radio announcer, sales
consultant, commercial
producer; census taker,
construction worker,
radio station manager.

Boss? For a time.

Different lessons from
more life lived; setbacks
professional, personal –
some debilitating.
Still the bills got paid.


Bellman, waiter, artist.
Driver of vans, limousines,
cars; passengers and data
hauled, coddled, delivered.
Security guard, file clerk,
receptionist, print maker.
Writer, announcer, tutor
…condom inspector?

Yes, I was.

Warehouses, factories, cafes.
Offices, loading docks, streets.
Vehicles, assembly lines, home.
Construction sites, studios,
laboratories and back rooms.
Restaurants, kitchens, hotels.

Service with a smile. Always.

Suits, uniforms, dungarees;
shirts, ties, lab coats, work boots
in prairie dog cubicle villages, dimly
lit, noisy, grimy, OSHA eschewed
houses of manufacture, shipping.
Blue collar, white collar, always
a ring around the collar.

Worked hard. Always.

Case manager, trainer of job
seeking and on-the-job skills; how
to find employment, how to keep it:
promoted, finally to professional.

Middle age, finding my true calling
the front of a classroom: high school
students looking at the adult world
skeptically, lacking the confidence,
missing the skills, high on bravado,
looking to me for all the answers.

Credibility an issue, as they see me
as privileged, incapable of relating
to them: their world, lives, dangers.

If it were only as simple as that.