The Fuller Brush Man

In 1959, I was sixteen
and in summer was hired to help a man
who went each day from woman to woman
and sold Fuller Brushes.
……………………………….I’d drive a van
delivering what he had sold. I’d pick
up bags full of the product with the names
and addresses of customers. I’d pack
the van there by the many waiting trains
beside the trailer park.
……………………………….The salesman’s home
was rusty, filled with screaming little kids.
The homes that bought the cleaning gear were from
the poorer parts of town: more kids, and wives
were always home–there was no second car.
The new toilet brush cost just one dollar.

-Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, Feb. 9, 2014

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