What Credentials Do You Have To Do That?

When he was offered a job
as a therapist, someone asked,
“What credentials do you have
to do that?”

Even though he holds a bachelor’s,
master’s and doctorate, they still
asked of him, “Sure, but what
credentials do you have to do THAT?”

When he started writing poetry
a friend asked, “What credentials
do you have to do that?”

When she started making artistic
sculptures, people asked, “What
credentials do you have to do that?”

When people started overlooking
(literally) her sculptures in shows,
she wondered if the pieces could
be placed on higher stands.

When people kept overlooking
her now-placed-higher sculptures
in shows because they were used
to looking at walls, she just
shook her head.

Then one day, she was awarded
an award and, voila, she was an
overnight success and she still
just shakes her head.

People still ask her for her
credentials, but now she just
takes pride in feeling like
a female version of the ball
player in The Natural.

She’s a natural they now say
but she works her tail off
each and every day.

He has self-published two
books after twenty-five years
of jumping through hoops and
getting twenty-five articles
published, but people still
ask who his publisher is as
if to ask, “What credentials
do you have to do that?”

He now just says, “A highly
selective, small press
’boutique’ poetry book
publishing company in
Phoenix, Arizona.”

Self-publication was good
enough to get Walt Whitman
and Ezra Pound going.

He wonders if anyone
ever asked them, “What
credentials do you have to
do that?”

Maybe they were granted
certificates in being naturals
but only after receiving
some good reviews.

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