shiftless

Shiftless

The people who were better than us were comfortable.
They lived in painted houses with flush toilets.
Drove cars whose year and make were recognizable.
The ones worse off were sorry and didn’t work.
Their strange cars sat on blocks in dusty yards.
The years go by and everything and everyone gets replaced.
But this much is still true-I never liked work.
My goal was always to be shiftless.
I saw the merit in that.
I liked the idea of sitting in a chair in front of your house
for hours,
doing nothing but wearing a hat and drinking cola.
What’s wrong with that?
Drawing on a cigarette from time to time.
Spitting.
Making things out of wood with a knife.
Where’s the harm there?
Now and then calling the dogs to hunt rabbits.
Try it sometime. Once in a while hailing a fat, blond kid like me and saying,
‘Don’t I know you?’
Not, ‘What are you going to be when you grow up?’

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