Because the Ones I Work For

Because the ones I work for do not love me, because I have said too much and I haven't been sure of what is right and I've hated the people I've trusted, because I work in an office and we are lost and when I come home I say their lives are theirs and they don't know what they apologize for and none of it mended, because I let them beat me and I remember something of mine which not everyone has, and because I lie to keep my self and my hands my voice on the phone what I swallow what hurts me, because I hurt them--

I give them the hours I spend away from them and carry them, even in my sleep, at least as the nag of a misplaced shoe, for years after I have quit and gone on to another job where I hesitate in telling and I remember and I resent having had to spend more time with them than with the ones I love. From "Who Whispered Near Me" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $14.95; 66 pp.). Killarney Clary lives in her native town, Pasadena. Her work has appeared in numerous national magazines. Killarney Clary, 1989. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

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