Monday, June 17, 2013


This experience was 36 years ago, almost to the month.  I have learned some things in the intervening years.  Some things, however, seem to be a part of a life pattern.  36 years out I wake up and think:  Oh... here I am again!

I began my work life
As a volunteer
In Ohio.
I had a desk in the corner
Of the community room
In a housing project
In South Toledo.
The desk held
A lockable dial phone.
With two days
Of paperwork training
Under my belt,
Age 22,
With a Classics major,
I was told to counsel troubled teenagers
And their parents.
It was a recipe,
It was a set-up,
For failure.
I was not alone.
There were seventeen other 22 year olds
Scattered throughout the city.
When I resigned,
Two months in,
Ten others resigned
Right after me.
Now at least
I am the only volunteer.
When I resign this time
There will not be a queue
Behind me.

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