Back Next The Salesman

In a rumpled suit
In a rumpled house
He sold the stainless steel
Vacuum cleaner,
Showing it to be the "real thing"
As real as Coke.
The pretty lady
In the peek through dress
Bought it.
He is a salesman through and through,
As the saying goes,
Being a salesman,
A super-salesman,
He could sell anything:
Ideas, products,
Darkness, evil, God, light,
Therapy, religion,
A Cicero-Quintilian
Wrapped into one,
As smooth and glossy as frosting
On a white cookie.
One day
While walking out of the Big Restaurant
Smoking a cigar
And feeling full,
Very full,
He met the light.
Really he met
At first stunned
And then reflective
He knew it was just this,
Just this
That he wouldn't be able to sell.

Irwin R. Shaw - 1981