Skip to content

The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

A Living

People ask what I do for a living.
I’m not sure
but I try to find an answer.
I pray,
I tell them,
and love dogs,
and nothing pleases me more
than planting flowers,
and being with a friend.
When I say this
they retreat,
and act as if I’m unemployed,
though I’ll grab a cuff and explain
I’m into a good book,
have read something I don’t understand.
Yes, I’m living well I plead,
it was wonderful this morning.
I felt so happy.
God put it all together so well,
the sun, the flowers,
the lovely people.
It was great to be alive!
So I was living very well.

But I get the impression
that what I do is not to their liking.
They’ll say, no,
what do you do for a job?
I try to answer,
I love to iron my pants,
wash windows,
say hello to the neighbor,
but at this they look offended
as if my job annoyed them,
so I throw the question back,
and they explain about driving truck,
keeping accounts,
running a business,
which I find strange.
You do that for a living?
I blurt out,
and realize I should work
on social graces.
Yes, that’s what I’ll say next time,
what I’m working at,
my job.

Published inIndex of all Poems