Ursula K. Le Guin: My Job

Written three years before her death at the age of 88, Ursula K. Le Guin contemplates her life as a writer.

My Job

Since keeping house and raising kids

don’t count as jobs, I only ever had one.

I started out as a prentice

at five years old, and at near eighty-five

in most ways I am still one,

being a slow learner. And the work

is quite demanding.

The boss who drives the shiny yellow car

and those nine sisters up there by the spring

are tough, but fair. There’s times

you can’t get them to listen,

but they’ve always got their eyes on you.

They don’t let botched work pass.

Sometimes the pay is terrible.

Sometimes it’s only fairy gold.

Then again sometimes the wages

are beyond imagination and desire.

I am glad to have worked for this company.

Ursula K. Le Guin

(from Late In The Day: Poems 2010-2014)

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