The Smile

I hope this might give you a ‘smile’, it’s a tongue in cheek look at life processed through Job Centre Plus (the unemployment office for non UK readers).


 Sign up and sign on to
a life on the dole, yes it’s
money for nothing
you just take it – and smile.

Job searches, you look hard
takes time but’s expected,
for six months it’s all good,
just turn up – and smile.

Then advisor’s to help you,
their job just to check that
you do as you should do
their nice and – they smile.

Your strengths and your weakness,
good jobs from vague lives past,
their screens list suggestions
‘though you’re not keen – you smile.

Each week a plan blossoms and
the search blunders on,
keep your records, make your copies
if you’ve time – force a smile.

You’re too old, too experienced,
hours too short then too long,
age is cold disadvantage,
yes it’s true – your can’t smile.

Then onto ‘the programme’
bright office, fresh young faces,
all courses and training
now you’re – faking that smile.

Two years in dark pipelines
help comes, stays just briefly,
the only continuum is
vague hope but – no smile.

Retirement gets closer
the pressures less painful,
the prospect of freedom
from work – needs a smile.

What freedom? What comfort?
What life can it hold now?
The ageing is real,
put your teeth in – to smile.

The mind is still willing but,
the body is long shot,
recalling one’s good times
yes – the briefest of smiles.

An end has mixed blessings
yes it’s sad but you’re through it,
not involved now it’s others
who remember – and smile.

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