James Laughlin


The Shameful Profession

For years I tried to conceal from the villagers that I wrote poetry
I didn’ t want them to know that I was an oddball
I didn’ t want the young men with beards wearing baseball caps who come to the liquor store in their pickups to buy sixpacks to know that I was some kind of sissy
I decided it was prudent to buy the Daily News instead of the Times at the drugstore
I burned my poem drafts at home before I took the trash to the dump, kids scavenge around there and the old man who does the recycling is nosy
I took every precaution