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Behind the Counter

Steve, over at OnePotMeal, has really outdone himself today with "Twenty-five short films about Cumberland Farms." I think we all, at some time or another, work a job that is both tedious and in-your-face. One of mine was:

Dry Goods

By ten the shop is preened:
each bolt propped in its niche,
loose ends all wrapped and pinned,
each thread-cabinet slot rigged
so new spools drop fast after old.
The cashier says, "People really make
a mess of their money," and strops
a bill across the counter's edge.
She makes each president-filled oval
do a crisp right-face in the drawer.
There's nothing else to do.
The bell above the street-door
jolts us all into identical
looks of "May-I-help-you?"
The customer stands blinking
while the bleached noon outside
yields to our dim calico twilight.
Measuring lengths of grosgrain
for hair ribbons or hatbands,
my thoughts tuck under them-
selves like a flat-felled seam.
I guess I may quit tomorrow
or keep this job for years.

© 1988,1998 LGF.

April 22, 2003 in dailiness | Permalink


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