It’s my first day on the assembly-line outside Detroit. The job -- bore holes in steering columns for Winnebagos. Day-in and day-out I will thread the metal blocks in front of me. I will wear my goggles. I will be on-time. A white oily lubricant splatters everywhere. It’s noisy. I don’t fit in here. But I’m home from my freshman year of college with something to prove. And I need the money.
morning drive-thru exhausted sparrows
The guys on either side of me are street-wise ex-husbands with restraining orders. At lunch, they like to swap stories about their various run-ins with the law. Their B & Es alone-- breaking and entering-- could fill a book. And they’re quick to remind me what a real education is.
Life on the street, man. They’ve got the scars. And like to show them off. I’m no one to them. They take turns calling me “College Boy.” I am someone to look through. Talk at. Teach what tough is.
“Welcome to the joy ride,” Tiny says, his gut shakes like it’s full of Jell-O.
the Tigers and Miss June
staring back at me
Hello Curtiss, I particularly like the way you "climbed" with this haibun. For a "college boy" he spoke in monotone without adj. as if he was there but 'removed' which showed well when the decription of the men he worked with took on a different tone. The reader could feel the fascination he had with the 'school of hard knocks" you captured the two different worlds nicely, yet it was still seamless. The haiku enriched the prose.
Karina Klesko /Sr.Editor, Sketchbook
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