by Scott C. Holstad
When they sent me out to do my
community service, the first two
places wouldn't take me.
I was a dangerous criminal.
The third place, a thrift store,
took me, no questions asked.
I thought to myself, great,
sit back and handle a few customers.
they almost broke me. I worked in
the back with people whose names
were Gomez and Garcia and who
could barely understand me. I
unloaded sofas, washing machines,
a cast iron stove for God's sake.
Nearly broke me.
I looked forward to a cigarette
break with a madman's glee,
and I was joined by the others,
the cigarette the communal language.
When I finally finished my
community service, they gave
me my paperwork to take back
to court, and on it, they wrote
great worker, thanks,
and I felt more satisfaction out
of that than nearly all of my
poemsies I've ever had published.
"Community Service" is copyright © 2000 by Scott C. Holstad. All Rights Reserved.