Osco Drug
by Kelley White

was my first real job
when my summer boyfriend
came to pick me up
the manager asked me to keep
an eye on him. Shoplifting
suspect. Hanging around too
much. But I was the real criminal.
Peeking at the nude pictures
of my neighbors in the one-hour
photo developing lab. You’d be
amazed at the shots people take.

PHOTO: The author in New Hampshire (summer in the 70s).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My first job started out as a cashier at one of the first chain drug stores in our area. I was lucky enough to advance into a kind of specialty position behind the camera counter. My mother took a full-time position at the same store when I went back to school in the fall. I worked about 24 hours evenings and weekends throughout the school year from 14 on. It was my mother’s first job since my birth. We both had to hitch rides there as the family had only one car.


Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural
 New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals, including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, and JAMA. Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books). She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.