poem #28

Yesterday, my eighteen-year-old son met a Don,
which is strange to jot down.
Wouldn’t it have been better
if he’d met a dean?
Deans have no pull at smelting plants, he tells me.
Deans got me in this mess in the first place, he tells me.
He admits, The Don didn’t say a word or even nod
in acknowledgement.
Nonetheless, he got the job. How do you say
thank you to that kind of favor? Send over
homemade cider? Or write a letter
expressing your opinion
that your boy never
should have seen you
to begin with?
Now my son will have a lifetime of black lungs
because one summer he wanted to earn enough
to cover college and leave Ohio for good.
I think if I were to tell the Don, he’d laugh.
He’d say I’m in the emotional throws
of motherhood.
– Evelyn B. Hirschworth
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