Saturday, November 7, 2009
Gary L. Lark: Becoming a Librarian
Becoming a Librarian
It was a non-union job
and we were less than qualified,
trainable when we weren't too hung over.
The houses were designed
for the working poor;
there was a government loan
available if you qualified.
The boss aimed to be rich
from this niche market.
It was the stinging grip
of the Skilsaw on frosty mornings,
the ladder rungs digging into my soles
as I carried the last bundle of shingles
to the roof,
the knees rebelling as I finished
a concrete garage floor,
the endless painting of walls,
and shoveling pea gravel
in a steady January rain
that put me back in college.
Four years later the boss bought a ranch
and I went to work in a warm library.
The poem is by Gary L. Lark from his book Men at the Gates, which is out of print. The drawing is by Sue Dolen and is from the same book. All the poems in Men at the Gates (but not the drawing) are included in a newer book called Getting By, which you can buy from Amazon. I'll make it easy: Use this link to order Getting By from Amazon.
Attention Gary Lark or Sue Dolen: if you object to my posting your good work, I will remove it immediately. My intention is to honor you.