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  • Diane Funston

A Poem

First Job

Previously published in Over the Falls (Foothills Publishing, 2022)

Cream Donut Box.

Counter girl.


In at 6am.

Out at noon.

Old men order.

“Coffee, regular”.



“Apple fritter”


“Gimme a smile”

“You got a boyfriend?"

I never minded.

Their retired eyes twinkled.

The men would sit

close on metal stools,

drink coffee, and refills,

joke and laugh,

trade workday memories,

when the factories ran

round the clock,

all those years

on the line.

We counter girls

gave them a smile,

extra cream and sugar,

upgrade to a fritter, on the house,

when the boss stepped out.

“Sure, Joe, your refills comin”

“Naw, I’ll wipe the spill, Larry,

cup got in the way of your elbow,

sure was a funny story”

Sunday mornings,

they came in with their wives

fresh from church.

“Dozen to go."

No Honey—Sweetie—Girly.

Their eyes downcast.

Wives handling cash.

Their coats buttoned high.

I loved my first job.

All but Sundays.


Diane Funston has been published in journals including California Quarterly, Synkronicity, San Diego Poetry Annual, Whirlwind, F(r)iction, Tule Review, and Lake Affect Magazin, among others. Diane’s first chapbook, Over The Falls, is available through Foothills Publishing.

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