They come to me alone and in clusters
In a modern office none of us can see;
I'm trained quite well to tell them how to change things,
Feel whole again, regain their dignity.

  "I had to sell my car!" Jack says in anger;
"I can't feed my family," cries Jerome;
"I still want to teach!" begs Mrs. Matlock;
Old Ernie fears he'll wind up in a home.

  We have many teachers, many programs;
They have doubts and questions, hopes and fears;
The lucky and the brave will be successful;
The others will be in our files for years.

  It's right for me to tell them, "Sure, you'll make it,"
But our funds and their goals must be in line.
Oh, there's another knock, "Come in," I beckon,
I'll try to make you brave in one hour's time.

-- Marilyn Brandt Smith

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