Mudlark Flash No. 47 (2008)

Career Change | Lisa Badner

Lisa Badner lives in Brooklyn NY and is a student in the master class
at The Writers Studio, founded and directed by Philip Schultz,
in Greenwich Village. Other than “Career Change,” her Mudlark Flash,
her only publications, to date, are letters in the New York Times.

Career Change

The rabbi sleeps at the desk across the room.
Curly sidelocks drape along the ashtray.
The brown paneled office, above my father’s
kosher bakery in Williamsburg, the week after
I was fired. I answer the phones. Macaroon King,
how may I direct your call?
The monitors are too old for screensaver.
The desk drawers have no handles.
The leather chairs are torn and hard.
Julio the barber next door lost his snake.
It’s crawling somewhere in the bakery walls,
my father says maybe it will eat the rats.
The supermarket chain won’t pay a nickel more
for a can. Passover is killing us.
Daytime Telemundo, on the bookkeeper’s desk,
a woman weeps... yo quiero matarme!
The rabbi is snoring now,
but somehow, his yarmulke doesn’t move.
Just across the river, lawyers in suits are eating
smoked turkey, swiss and avocado wraps,
with a honey mustard glaze. Checking their blackberries.
My father takes out two cans of sardines.
Skinless and boneless in olive oil.
We scoop them out with forks,
drink the oil.

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