So, PAD started on Monday. Poem-A-Day for those of you who don’t know. This is my 7th or 8th year participating – I’ve got to check on that. Anyway, I am super excited and motivated now because for the first time I’ve had a poem accepted for publication in a literary magazine. More on that later.
Tuesdays during PAD are always Twofer – two prompts to choose from or to combine, whatever suits the fancy. This Tuesday it was Worst Case/Best Case. I’ve been reading a lot of stories lately where there is much hardness, tough times, sadness – scenarios I cannot always relate to.
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
I began thinking about what to write for “worst case”. I’ve worked many different jobs over the years: babysitter, fast food, retail, home daycare, customer service representative in a credit department, house cleaner, freelance writer, janitor at a school, teacher, substitute teacher, tutor, general office worker. Plus mothering. I remember the worst job I ever had. It didn’t last too long. I found something else, but I don’t remember what. I worked for a company that went into retail stores and completed an inventory. That job inspired my poem.
that time she worked for the inventory company
left her babies to ride in a van
full of people she didn’t know
who laughed over last night’s escapades
and told dirty jokes
for an hour and a half
to a hardware store
in a podunk town
with dust covered shelves
where she counted boxes of nails
and smelly bicycle tires
she couldn’t hold it any longer
so went into the dirtiest
bathroom she’d ever seen
used all her muscles
to not touch the toilet seat