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Lilli Sutton Apr 4
Friday afternoon at the candle store
a woman tells me how much she loves
the scent of French buttercream, and coffee
we only have one of those, and I tell her

later, I ring her up
for five candles -
she tells me
she’ll light one of them tonight

before she leaves, she comes back
to buy pens and pencils
for her grandchildren
a Christmas gift to put away

then she is crying –
without warning, she says
her mother died, at 89
and she cannot stop missing her

I tell her that the grandkids will like the gifts
what else is there to say
I’m certain I don’t have the words
to ease that kind of pain

and she smiles – and I want
so badly to tell her that I am here to listen
but that is not my job, and then
the wind blows the door shut, and she is gone.
02.09.19.
Kaila Martin Jan 29
Hello, how are you?
I don’t care. My name’s Bruce.
Where’d you get your tattoo?
Now you’re smiling, aren’t you...
Oh you’re not? You’re so rude.
You’ve got a real ****** attitude!
Where’s your manager? Move!
I’m sorry sir-
What seems to be the issue?
Your cashier at register 2.
She doesn’t smile. She’s just rude.
I am so sorry about her. What can I do?
Fire her is what you need to do!

I’m sorry about the wait ma’am,
How can I help you?
Oh yes, hi, my names LuLu.
That last guy was nasty to you.
You deserve better, you do.
Oh it’s no problem-
Nice people like you make me love what I do.
What’s your date of birth, LuLu?
June 26th, 1972.
Nothing seems to be ready...
What were you expecting?
WHAT!? THERE’S NO WAY!
I CALLED IT IN YESTERDAY!
WHY DON’T YOU JUST LOOK IN THE COMPUTER!?
YOU KNOW WHAT- NEVERMIND! JUST STAY!
YOU’RE GOOD FOR NOTHING ANYWAY!
WHO KNOWS WHY YOU EVEN GET PAID?
JUST HAVE IT READY. I’LL BE BACK AT 8!

With tears in my eyes... I’ve cleared the line.
The phone’s still ringing, to no surprise.
Hello, Kaila speaking- how can I help you tonight?
I’VE BEEN ON HOLD FOR AN HOUR!
WHY!?
I apologize sir, we’re very busy Monday nights.
THAT’S NO EXCUSE. MY NAME IS MIKE.
YOU PEOPLE CALLED ABOUT MY GLIMEPERIDE.
I KNOW IT’S READY. I JUST NEED THE PRICE.
Actually, it’s not-
IT’S NOT READY!?
WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DIE!?
Of course not sir, I-
I sigh.
Another customer steps into line.
I’ll be right with you sir!
Make it quick! I’ve got a cab outside!
How can I be at your service tonight?
I hung up on this other girl. She just wanted to fight.
Maybe you can help me. My name is Mike.
I’m out of my Glimeperide.
Oh, you see sir, your doctor prescribed
Glimeperide-
One tablet daily as needed at night.
These directions can’t be right.
WHAT, DO YOU WANT ME TO DIE?!
No, I-
Kaila, go on break, I will help Mike.
I just got off the phone with Dr. Brennan.
She clarified those directions.
Oh! So you can fill it then?
I’m glad someone knows what they’re doing man.
DMallow Jan 2
Forever off-white tiles that never
be anything else by the color of pale *****
daily bleached floors cover up the smell
of what is otherwise known as decay

the man behind the counter
has a weak smile and a dying heart
his eyes drain of color each day
there was fire in his blood
but the righteous flame has grown cold

you pay for the fuel and snack food
he tells you to "Have a nice day"
even though it seems like
he's the one who could use one
but all you can say is a mild "Thanks"
then move on
Douglas Harrison Dec 2018
Work to me feels like a production
Our slate wipes clean each day
We set the stage, we preform our lines
We check our numbers to make sure we are living up to the company standard
We reset the stage and acts to be ready for the next performance, tomorrow
We are numbers on someone’s report in someones office that I don’t know
They look at that number and decide they know us
They can see the sweat blood and tears
They can see the cups of coffee and bag of chips for lunch
They can see the tired frustration creeping in like the chill in the air
The countless hours spent digging deeper to get the show on the road.
exist May 2018
working in retail isn’t as bad as it seems
it’s just certain people
act a certain way
and make it so difficult
but the people are the ones
that control how your day goes
but you can’t even control
how their day goes
besides one single interaction
but it’s not that bad
Lingerie rustles
As hangers squeak and strain,
Sliding across the sturdy bars
That hold retail up,
Cradling profits,
Like a fistful of bills,
Illspent.
I yawn;
Exhausted by such a drearily normal moment;
A weary reminder
Of the long hours ahead of me,
And the demands of my
Ever-watchful overlords.
Still,
my mind wanders,
Thinking that perhaps sleep will come easily tonight,
Despite the wakeful rest I've found here
leaning on this
cool,
white
counter.
Perhaps it will be time to leave soon,
And reach
for the sunny skies I can see
taunting me from beyond the glass;
To leave behind this dusty,
dreaming
perspective,
And leap into adventures,
as of yet,
unknown.
I sigh,
Returned
to be merely an observer to my working hell,
An unwilling participant
To the necessary waste
of a perfect Spring day.
Kitt Sep 2017
Faces that pass along in the stuffy summer night
See right through me
Though I fight to be seen, to be noticed
Acknowledged as a living breathing entity
I walk along, waiting to be picked up for a second
Inspected for usefulness
And put down again
Expiring my helpfulness again and again

And then I see the shining ray of glory
She steps through the crowd of gray
And addresses me by name
And I lead her down winding paths of Gold and Silver
And she kisses me with her eyes
She makes love to me with her words
I feel her in every depth within me

And then she's gone
Leaving a vacancy in my soul.
JP Mantler Dec 2016
You look above
You see yourself that way
I am a pawn and you are Walt Disney
You see yourself above

You are that way
The kind of idealist
Who marches with ego
Who stutters with pride

I stand above you
But you hit me
I can't stand it
But my tongue is held

I'll strangle you
In the sink
In a neck choke
I'll bash your pudgy brain
Smash your ******* face
Smash your ******* mouth
With my fiery embrace
Sounds good ****-face?

I'll make you a better person <3
STLR Nov 2016
Stuck in skirmish of working this
retail

I'm intricately plotting my escape with detail

Now see well
it's time for an alternative path
One that I believe, achieve then kick ***

This ***** whack
working hourly wages
I'm Turning time into sand,
with people who won't make it

Reality is a series of obstacles
Let's face it

My sanity is slipping like
Like **** on black latex

How can I ******* break this
I've become a statistic
a realistic typical stereotype

I fantasize on the daily
wishing I can take Ariel flight

How can I steer clear of these mundane communications
slab-faced coworkers &
there basic conversations

I'm tired of it, I'm tired of it
I'm done with it...
No more giving a ****
Now it's time to resist
These urges of being someone
Who settles & simply quits

I seek to strive for more
My motivation is too legit
My skills are beyond eons
I will conquer with fist
No more being a peon
Dance then do a flip
Celebrate like I'm Deion

For this year will test
my patience & true potential
to many years guiding this pencil
Into oblivion

Blank spaces and synonyms
Wordplay over wordplay
Metaphors for my residents  
Letters create earthquakes
Echoes create resonance

I from art in sentences
This residue is my evidence
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