Here you will find the Poem To My Father's Business of poet Kenneth Koch
Leo bends over his desk Gazing at a memorandum While Stuart stands beside him With a smile, saying, 'Leo, the order for those desks Came in today From Youngstown Needle and Thread!' C. Loth Inc., there you are Like Balboa the conqueror Of those who want to buy office furniture Or bar fixtures In nineteen forty in Cincinnati, Ohio! Secretaries pound out Invoices on antique typewriters? Dactyllographs And fingernail biters. I am sitting on a desk Looking at my daddy Who is proud of but feels unsure about Some aspects of his little laddie. I will go on to explore Deep and/or nonsensical themes While my father's on the dark hardwood floor Hit by a couple of Ohio sunbeams. Kenny, he says, some day you'll work in the store. But I felt 'never more' or 'never ever' Harvard was far away World War Two was distant Psychoanalysis was extremely expensive All of these saved me from you. C. Loth you made my father happy I saw his face shining He laughed a lot, working in you He said to Miss Ritter His secretary 'Ritt, this is my boy, Kenny!' 'Hello there Kenny,' she said My heart in an uproar I loved you but couldn't think Of staying with you I can see the virtues now That could come from being in you A sense of balance Compromise and acceptance? Not isolated moments of brilliance Like a girl without a shoe, But someone that you Care for every day? Need for customers and the economy Don't go away. There were little pamphlets Distributed in you About success in business Each about eight to twelve pages long One whole series of them All ended with the words 'P.S. He got the job' One a story about a boy who said, 'I swept up the street, Sir, Before you got up.' Or 'There were five hundred extra catalogues So I took them to people in the city who have a dog'? P.S. He got the job. I didn't get the job I didn't think that I could do the job I thought I might go crazy in the job Staying in you You whom I could love But not be part of The secretaries clicked Their Smith Coronas closed at five p.m. And took the streetcars to Kentucky then And I left too.