He clipped his nails, shined wing-tipped shoes,

donned a starched white shirt and dark blue suit,

de rigueur for working at Big Blue, so neatly dressed

and groomed he was often mistaken as a special agent.

Clutching his attaché case stuffed with old newspapers

he ran for the bus, waving goodbye to a worried wife

who stood at the doorway.

Leaving Port Authority he hurried along

merging with the throng going to work,

only he was in no hurry to get to Bryant Park

where he fed peanuts to pigeons, waiting

for the library to open where he’d lose himself

reading mysteries of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

He could always figure out “whodunnit.”

A skilled software designer, ashamed to tell his wife

he’d been laid off, a victim of corporate downsizing.

Always the observer, never the participant,

he nevertheless missed the camaraderie of the office,

joshing and practical jokes, and gossip about

the boss’s affairs.

Headhunters no longer returned calls,

want ads were useless, his social network

was too slight to provide a foot in the door.

Sitting day after day in the park he noticed

drug dealers busily at work when a light bulb

when off in his head just like in cartoons:

He would be a private investigator, obtain

a gun license, be in business for himself.

Returning home he couldn’t wait to tell his wife

he’d been laid off and was starting a new career

as an entrepreneur.

She was greatly relieved to hear the news, suspicious

he was up to something, afraid it was a secret affair.