Deborah- Valerie Hathaway

They are thin and pretty

They want to be like you

They submit to the hungry supervisor

Between their thighs are legs to the job

Yet the job is given to someone else

And they are left on the curb, crying


You carry a fake smile but no crying

Your resume shows awards and experience

Your hollow eyes look out the window

And see the wannabees down on the street

Walk to another building, photos in hand

You shake your head, well that’s too bad


It isn’t because they are so bad

There are too many, they all want fame

And their names on a piece of wood

Or metal, plastic—it’s all the same

You straighten your skirt, pick up your heels

Walk to the boss’s office for some daily abuse


You need the money, so you take the abuse

Day in and day out, it’s all the same

Any time now you’ll replaced by one of them

And you’ll be walking in pain from your heels

Not enough money to hail a cab

But you have a secret inside your phone


It looks like a regular smartphone

Inside are pictures, names, numbers

Anybody will do anything for a lot of money

And  sex is as fair as anything

You’ll find the lawyer, start the suit

And be broken in broken heels and silence


That non-disclosure letter is his silence

You take the settlement and move away

Your name is plastered all over the country

You go deep into the woods, and reclaim

What little of your faith is left in you

Not the pretty fairy woman in the glass building


And you say in the silence, well that’s too bad

There is no crying left in that building

Only phones, moans, and denial of abuse


©2018 Valerie Hathaway

Valerie Hathaway is a middle-aged disabled veteran. She writes poems about mental illness, body positivity, and the transition into midlife and beyond. She is currently posting her work at and on her Facebook page ( She is also writing a book of poems concerning middle age. She is a Creative Writing major at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.

When not writing Valerie looks for clothes that fit her plus-size body, enjoys witty dialogue with her adult daughter, and watches vet shows with her husband. Originally from Oregon, she now lives in Ohio with her family and two cats that are also middle-aged (in cat years).


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