Nobody’s closed a coal mine down
Or shut a shipyard in this town.
No locked gates at a lumber mill;
No steel plant dark and cold, but still
It’s ten a.m. and here I am:
Laid off, redundant. Not a damn
Thing I can do about it; they
Don’t seem to need this man today
Is all. Meanwhile, more bills arrive.
I know that, somehow, we’ll survive –
We always do – but life has left
Me on the sidelines. I’m bereft
Of solid skills. No place for me
In foundry, field, refinery,
Construction site or factory floor.
It’s hard to see what I’m good for.
You’ve got something to advertise?
Sure, I can help you: I’ll devise
Some clever lines to help it fly
Right off the shelves, make people buy
This thing they never even knew
They needed. This is what I do.
But not today. I’m not required.
Just sitting, waiting to be hired.
(So if you need some words that rhyme
Give me a call. I’ve got the time.)
Ah, the rollercoaster ride of being freelance. For five months, I’ve been working almost without a break: this week, things have dried up completely. After 15 years, I should be used to it, and I know the phone will start ringing again, but it doesn’t stop the silence being scary as all hell while it lasts. This is when I wish I had a proper craft or trade to fall back on! N.