- My First Job
Eight years old,in a well-worn soccer uniform,I wrapped an empty coffee canwith bright paper, stood outside
the corner store, asking for donations.Kind neighbors, unknowing,poked folded bills throughthe top-slot I had cut
in diaphanous plastic.Opening my cow eyes wide,I’d flash an innocent smile,feel the power of persuasion.
Later in my bedroom, I’d countthe dollars, arrange changein tiny, powerful towers,tuck it all into the envelope
taped beneath my underwear drawer.My hustling uncle taught methis trick, inspired my careful hiding.Deception, a tool honed
and wielded proudly, the rewardfor an unsupervised child. [End Page 6]
Rage Hezekiah is a MacDowell Fellow who earned her MFA at Emerson College. Her poems are published in many journals and anthologies, including Fifth Wednesday, Columbia Poetry Review, Blue Lyra Review, and a collection of poetry on motherhood titled All We Can Hold.