mom stressed
as she sat
with her 10-key
urgently
conscientiously
feeding it numbers
for a business
in Redhook
a commercial building
in old red brick
her calculations spun
Monday through Friday
dripping white paper
in ribbons
pooling on the floor
with all her adds
all her minuses
she accounted
in grey lead
on lined green paper
A/R and A/P
payroll
chart of accounts
bank reconciliations
consolidated financials
transactions
neatly ticked and tied
to ledgers and subledgers
hand formulated
amounting to
zilch
zip
squat
zero
nothing
gone
forgotten
except
for the echo of her sighs

© 2015, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

5 thoughts on “an accounting

    1. Thank you for our comment, my friend. I would disagree. Hard work in the arts is its own reward, but this was a thankless job, essentially slave labor. Called a “girl” when she was a woman, called a “bookkeeper” when she was an accountant, paid about 50% of what the men were being paid, poverty level wages, no gratitude. It ultimately killed her in a protracted and ugly way.

      Like

        1. I am too. I took it for granted that it would be understood in the context of theme and didn’t mean to get on your case. My mom is a sensitive subject for me. Wishing you the best and every blessing, Denise. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. xo

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I worked Accounts Receivable for several years. It was a necessary but thankless job and for someone like me who doesn’t like numbers/math, sighs were just part of it. Much respect to your mother for being able to do it!

    Liked by 2 people

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