Button Trends—Summer, 1959, poem by Alan Walowitz (MY FIRST JOB Poetry and Prose Series)

Silver Birch Press

Walowitz (job)Button Trends—Summer, 1959
by Alan Walowitz

I was 10 and ready for work:
lunch order in my fist, a ten in one pocket
mail stuffed in the other —
But never down the mail chute,
my father said as I headed to the elevator,
something might get stuck
and there goes the business — though business
was never much up on 8, at 1181 Bway,
and I used to hear him on the phone
— Doll, doncha know the check is in the mail —
with that confidential laugh that got him so far, no farther.
You got to take the mail and get it right in the box;
Aloysius, this ain’t horseshoes. Though Hubert,
the black delivery boy who had signed on
to learn this dying business,
would mumble Horseshit in its place,
though I wasn’t supposed to hear.
So I’d head out on the street,
to listen to…

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