What kind of world
Will you inhabit
Once we are gone?
Will it be one
Of your own choosing?
New landscapes built
To youthful specifications,
A virtual world, or
Precarious solidity shaped
From the concentration
Children’s toys – perhaps even
Of my infancy?
Will our groaning,
Of piecemeal policies,
Poor housing, health,
And knee-jerk reactions
To old threats,
Leave you with
Too little freedom
And too much responsibility?
However our teachings
Soak into your bones
It will be your turn
To roll the dice
And seek advancement
I hope we leave you
And with sufficient
Tools to survive
And what is yet
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.
I long to recapture those halcyon days
Of spirit so wild and free
Where all of the world to me was a maze
And my only loves for thee.
But now I am older and jaded too
No more have I leave to roam.
And like a chattel am bolted down
To job, and hearth, and home.
Oh, how might I relive my days long gone
And change what deeds I could
That I might achieve what I’ve never done
As well as “being good”.
I’d not be so clever – not all of the time
Nor do what I know is right.
But talk back to those who put me down
And stand up to all in a fight.
Show what love I wanted, and share
With those who did not me deserve.
Not tiptoe for fear of igniting those
Whose tempers they should curb.
I’d laugh at the fools and sing to the moon
And dance with my skirts held high.
I’d act to all like a merry loon
Who does not fear to die.