Short list

The HR Lady

(that’s Human Resources Representative)

From the midtown agency,

Studies my resume,

Like it’s a Chinese restaurant menu,

Her lips move as she reads,

She takes off her tortoiseshell reading glasses,

And she looks at me,

Like she can’t decide,

On the Egg Drop, or the Wonton soup,

Finally, she asks me why I feel,

That I’m qualified for a lofty position,

On a lofty floor of a lofty,

New York City institution,

So, I say that I have 27 and three quarter years,

Of experience in such work,

Tho’ some of it is not directly applicable,

To the task at hand,

But I say that I enjoy a challenge,

And I’ll reach out – to whomever,

And I like to keep my finger,

On the pulse of the marketplace,

Strategizing to drive proper synergy,

To various business groups,

And whoever else,

Wants to tag along,

And I like to bring new ideas to the table.

I’m sweating, feeling faint,

My left eye socket pounds,

Sweat drips into my newly laundered,

Argyle socks.

I smile, and then she asks:

“Can you explain your last period of unemployment?”

Oh such a question they often ask,

But I dodge it saying that I was busy in the Poconos,

For nineteen months,


Yes, busy proofing Leah’s first novel,

Painting an old house in Marshall’s Creek,

Planting asparagus, and setting out a strawberry bed,

Writing poetry at one AM,

Drinking wine while the sun rises,

Over the mountains by the Delaware,

And racing Leah through the orchard,

Naked, in the first summer rain,

You know, busy.

So I left — not knowing whether or not,

I’d gotten the job,

But I figured at least,

I’d made the short list.