Paper Girl, poem by Leah Mueller (MY FIRST JOB Poetry and Prose Series)

The paper girl is here collecting!

Silver Birch Press

me at 13Paper Girl
by Leah Mueller

Delivering newspapers
from my three-speed bicycle,
I could pitch a perfect
arc from sidewalk
to front porch. The thick,
folded wad always skidded
to a halt, just before the
doorstop. Housewives waved to me
cheerily from thresholds,
offered me warm soda
and chatted about trivialities
while babies hung from their hips
like drooling barnacles.

On Saturdays, I collected
the subscription money.
I skulked door to door,
pounded on the glass,
and stared inside warm houses
as other, luckier children
sat cross-legged on the carpet,
watching The Monkees
and gobbling cereal.
The mothers were less friendly then:
they told me to come back
in a couple of hours,
then refused to answer my knock
when I returned.

One afternoon, as I tried
to ride my bike no-handed
with a bag full of newspapers,
the front tire twisted
in the gravel. I toppled
from my bicycle, plummeted

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