Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Weekends at Woolworth’s

For $18.49 a week
I got to spend my Weekends at Woolworth’s:
Sundays not included because of the
Blue laws in and around Philadelphia.

Friday nights and all day on Saturday
To avoid a conflict with a school night
And ruin my grades, or so the folks said.
Actually I would have had the choices
Anyway of Penn State, Temple, or Nam.

Mr. Fox, the cool assistant manager,
Told us about his tour of duty there
As we waited for customers to come
And check out so they could beat the traffic.
Heading both ways along Germantown Pike.

Miss Fogg, her frosted blond wig attempting
To disguise her five decades on this earth
Handed out our pay envelopes with cash
And told us where we were supposed to work.

Fridays on the upper level, two men
Regularly bought lots of plastic flowers.
Saturdays spent on the lower level
Talking with Linda from the Ancilla
Domini Academy wondering
If Vatican II would help me date her
And learning men’s wear from suave Mr. Knox.

Friends would stop by sometimes or I would see
Them during my hour-long meal break as
I passed on the 10% lunch counter discount
To head to Sal’s Steaks and Wee Three Records
Who had much cooler albums anyway.

A few weeks after the Mall fire
Water damage closed the lower level
And the upper level became crowded,
A real shambles for the next couple months.

Fully expecting they would lay me off,
On Saturday night a petulant man
Fired me for the inability to remove
Slushy black scuff marks without use of solvent
From the speckled linoleum floor.

Trudging to my Dad’s station wagon as
The first one in the family to be fired,
In adolescent anger I told him.
Dad suggested that the manager
could go to hell; much relieved, I concurred.
Thus ended my last weekend at Woolworth’s.

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