Second Career Better Than the First

From the collection And Don’t Come Back, published in 2021.

Second Career Better Than the First

the years added up gained momentum roared in high gear
skidded the young man into old age and finally
crashed him into the barrier that stops everybody
one way or another

at that juncture what else to do?
he shook out his musty soul
presented it to the afterlife
who refused to accept it without a professional cleaning
that not being available
It was on the list of preparations we gave you
they said
didn’t you read it
If this is lacking what else have you omitted to do?

A good question and so
they turned him away. Something he hadn’t thought about
it looked like it could happen anyway. Now he wanders
a vagrant with a soul in need of the cosmic laundromat
and all he can do is hope to scrounge up enough change
for a ride back to the old neighborhood.
Now what? Maybe there’s
(somewhere in the land of the living)
a kitchen in need of a disembodied voice
to shout curses from the oven
a closet lacking a cold spot or two
to jangle up wire hangers and tickle winter coats
or how about (lowly as the job is)
a dank basement requiring nightly sessions
of frantic wailings and thrashings?

some sort of package deals
could be arranged?
Loyalty cards?
The possibilities
endless. The future
bright. It cheered him up
so much so that when
a celestial ray of light dropped a quarter at his feet –
He took it as a
stood straighter and stuck out his thumb.

What did I tell you?
Trust in the system. It will never let you down.


5 thoughts on “Second Career Better Than the First

  1. This was fascinating, Claudia, and made me wonder.
    I hope I don’t forget to read that list. My house could use some help, but I don’t think I want that kind! 😀

    • I wonder if the list has already arrived for me and I threw it out or somehow did not understand its importance…but maybe I did and didn’t notice? I like to think I’m on the right track but who knows. And if not, I have obviously envisioned what will happen next! I wonder if haunting somewhere would actually be fun? It seems it might be…

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