In these fractions I seek solace
That infarction is no menace
To my own unknown condition
Though my colleague lies on trollies
As they fill her veins with serum
Hoping vasos are dilated
I’m surrounded by the vision
Such careers are overrated
In my secretary’s costume
I must take on further duties
Try to prop up one more rostrum
And ignore last rites for loot. He’s
Working from his home computer
While I ride the bus to nowhere
In the misty morning chatter
That’s conceived to make me go there
How much more am I allotted?
This existence, mere survival
Will I too go out, garotted
By a heart attack unrivalled?
As my logic fails, convince me;
I’ve decisions that are burning
Every inch would rather lynch me
Than continue painful earning.
Although I rarely explain my scribblings, as I prefer to let the reader interpret them at will, this poem, and the one that follows are written in response to a recent event. The woman with whom I share a desk at my day job suffered a heart attack this week. The events on that occasion and which have followed have caused me to question our place in the universe with perhaps more focused ferocity than usual.
This is the place we come to die
We secretaries, in our rows
Two frozen stiffs, a living lie
Few care to note, and no one knows.
While patient, we sit out our time
In managing capricious men
Whose fruitless whims, though not malign
Wear lines on brows and fray each hem.
One more may chew on dust this hour
No more to block electric space
In diary; a heart lacks power
To beat a path through empty wastes.
We are not dumb, and yet, we wait
Preparing meeting rooms, hot drinks
Awaiting proof; appreciate
A mind, unheeded, soul that shrinks
And though the autopsy infers
What killed her was nobody’s fault
That one can prove, (except for hers)
With such a sedentary vault
Of memories of closet, desk,
A filing cabinet to store
The means of murder – this slow death
Made up of tedium and chore.
Mon père, qui m’a donné de vie
Je vous demande plus rien
Mais la possibilité de le vivre
Sans interruption, sans me plaindre.
Je manquerai des choses –
La détresse, la douleur –
Ce sont des dons particuliers
– gardez-les pour toujours
Et je garderai ma joie
Ma félicité, mes sourires
Contre ceux qui me voudront
Faire pleurer – gardez mes larmes
Tout va déjà si bien
Je n’ai pas d’envie de changements.
I smiled at the man who had turned up to tea,
Though out of the blue he’d appeared.
He seemed wistful and sad when he sat beside me,
When I spoke to him, he turned and stared.
So I plucked up my courage, began to relate
All the funny events of my day.
And as he braved a smile, so the breeze did pick up
‘Til the willows were starting to sway.
Then how we both laughed, at the ways of the world.
I was pleased that my tales made him grin.
And we stayed sitting there, on a bench in the cold
As the evening was drawing in.
Then he turned with a sigh and his primary air
And remarked at how sorry he felt
That I soon would be leaving him lonely out there
As he spoke such words, my heart did melt.
For he looked in my eyes and the fondness I saw there
Did take all my breath quite away.
And he thanked me for letting him share in my life
For he’d had a most pleas’rable day.
And as it grew dark and we walked hand in hand,
He turned one last time and we kissed.
Then I opened my eyes to the streetlamps aglow
As my handsome young man turned to mist.
I was terrified, sure, as I ran for the door
For my beau had dissolved in my arms.
And I never, not once, had expected to find
Him a phantom, of such mortal charms.
Now I often do sit by myself for a bit
On the bench we shared, down by the stream.
But never again has he come for a chat
And I wonder now, was it a dream?