David Ignatow

(7 February 1914 - 17 November 1997 / Brooklyn/ New York)

Self-Employed: For Harvey Shapiro


I stand and listen, head bowed,
to my inner complaint.
Persons passing by think
I am searching for a lost coin.
You’re fired, I yell inside
after an especially bad episode.
I’m letting you go without notice
or terminal pay. You just lost
another chance to make good.
But then I watch myself standing at the exit,
depressed and about to leave,
and wave myself back in wearily,
for who else could I get in my place
to do the job in dark, airless conditions?

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010
Edited: Friday, July 29, 2011

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