Help Wanted

Help Wanted

A Poem by Peyton James

Working over COVID has become mentally and physically exhausting for many, between lockdowns, restrictions, and loss of employment. This poem is dedicated to anyone who is feeling burnt out.


“Sleep is for the weak. But the beautiful? They need all they can get, so that they still

got somethin’ to pay the bills with in the mornin.’” Or at least that’s what they told me.

I passed tired barrelling down the interstate in a cast-off Intrepid

puffing out more fumes than a ‘50s Ad Executive burning out on Wall Street.

Ain’t no rest for the overqualified millennial, banking in permanent

intern status day after day, smiling for their twenty four nightly viewers.

Getting to the finish line at the end of each calendar month requires great

effort to haul drooping limbs and scaling flesh across the kitchen to turn the page.

White-knuckled, crusty-eyed, and chapped lips inching up towards a reluctant smile,

I brushed the dandruff from fraying strands, but my supervisor saw my holey sweater.

What they don’t know is that the polyester stained uniforms they deduct from

my paycheck each month doesn’t leave much for the increasing expense of mental health.

But that doesn’t stop the tidal wave of oil painted daydreams each lunch hour

as employees pass around leather belts and used needles, getting their caffeine fix.

© 2021 Peyton James

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Added on December 30, 2021
Last Updated on December 30, 2021
Tags: poetry, poem, burnout, mental health


Peyton James
Peyton James

London, Ontario, Canada

Picking up the pieces to create my own mosaic of writing. more..