The Newspaper

It’s there

Lying in the fresh cut grass

Wrapped in an impossibly thin plastic bag

Drawn tight against its muscular rolled pages

I feel the strain of those who created this ballet of words and images

Reporters (called by a President the last of the talented poor)

Hoping to turn a phrase and retire to television’s lap of ephemeral luxury

Sullen photographers with purloined badges in windbreaker pockets

World weary editors hacking away the rhetorical underbrush

Remembering their reporting days with harsh judgment

Designers sliding the electrons around

Cutting off the bottom three graphs

To make a photo just a little larger

Ignoring the stack of empty spaces

Where advertising will reside in truculent support

A printer with ink under his fingernails

Who, as a matter of principle, won’t read the paper

Until it is properly presented in his own gravel driveway

Truck drivers hammering water out of potholes

A mother of two, up at four in a busted up Corolla

Flinging a paper into every twentieth ditch, yard, driveway

My ritual begins

Reading, turning pages

A headline and three paragraphs

And they better be good or I’m moving on

Ink rubbing off on my fingers

Always something delightful disturbing lovely bleak hopeful

And, then, its done

The paper, so valuable and mysterious moments ago, dead now

Read, exhausted, spent

Tossed away without a thought

3 thoughts on “The Newspaper

  1. Beautifully written. And true; every detail. My father was thrown off his lifelong schedule when, in my first summer as an intern, I would show up at the house just before he went to bed at nine on Saturday nights with the early run of the next morning’s Sunday newspaper. After a few weeks of struggles, he resolved to himself to not look at what I had brought home. Knowing he would find far more enjoyment seeing it for the first time at six the next morning with his first cup of coffee, and his bacon, eggs, and toast.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To be sure, though. Newspaper work was among the most exciting paths one could luck into in life. Though not as ephemeral as those words you described on a spent page, their times are harder than ever, with little glimmer of hope. I’m not sure about others, but I haven’t had ink on my fingers from the NYT for years. The Knoxville Journal was the dirtiest newspaper I ever handled regularly. Banner and Tennessean were a wash; for obvious reasons. Again, great piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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