The Paper Route

An almost forgotten employment
For my almost teenage boy
Delivering the news to doorsteps
While others slumber, sip coffee
Get ready for their day of labor
He saw the notice in a well placed
Ad stuffed into our mailbox
Available; three routes,
Twenty-five bonus just to sign-up
His round Dr. Seuss eyes,
Absorbing the countless
Possibilities of purchases
To be made with all that money
The new computer; mine
Only for me, he imagines specifically

Not wanting to squelch excitement
Conjured from a hope that he
Will make his wish into possibility
Fulfilled by his own volition
I secretly ponder the realities
In thoughts that swirl around details
He only contemplates the cash
Like a loony toon character with
Dollar signs that ring up in his eyes
The neighborhood is two miles away
I offer to drive him there
Every day, at five am, except Sunday
When the former paper boy, his dad
Performs this troublesome honor
The day thick with all those ads

After a week or so, his route memorized
Which gradually worked into a month, this child
Who cried the third day in frustration over wind
That sent him skittering to jumble
Those black inky folds neatly back together
While watching from a distance
I reminded myself this was not a something for me
To scurry towards making it all better, but
The invisible pull to save made my viewing
Heart fold in a cringe feeling his fear that
He would fail in this personal quest
To be slightly independent
These spaces of quiet morning time precious
Where every bunny rabbit still gives pause
And every paper delivered a tiny success

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