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   April 24, 2008 Issue                                       

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©2007 The Chestnut Hill Local

Local Fiction & Poetry Edition

The 65-Year-Old Man
Talks to the Social Worker
by MARK GOODMAN, Mt. Airy

I want to work —

Too young to retire,

But you’re the last one hired

When you get up in years.

They say I’m too old —

I’m not one to sit around and watch TV:

Why, I’d put some of these young folks to shame —

Never see me shirk!

And these slick ones with their fancy careers

Couldn’t hold up next to me

But I’m the first one fired,

Or as they say, “laid off.”

Who’s to blame?

Some of the big wigs, I’m told,

Are getting paid off

To keep us unemployed —

That’s not to mention

The factory shut down

Right before winter.

Dried up the town —

Not even anything left for the pension,

And people who once had jobs they enjoyed

Sit around and get splinters

While some clown

Tells me I’m too old.

The kids? They’re grown

And moved to where it’s not so cold;

They got lives of their own.

The Missus is gone three years — I’m alone.

I’m sick and tired of hearing I’m too old!