Posted in Antarctica

Secure

Summer at McMurdo Station
too big
too regulated
too meaningless.

All those people
all those rules
all that time to fill.

Not just in time
but just in case
linesmen, communication technicians, electricians
generator mechanics
very little to do each day
not essential – just in case.

The kitchen was essential
the work, hot and often dirty
but time sprinted
sometimes warping beyond control
at Thanksgiving and Christmas
at Mexican and pizza nights
like pushing back surf.

Goodwill briittled by diner discontent
cooks’ temper
and worker disillusion
made the performance of our boss remarkable.
I commented once
on absence
on vacuum
on never heard spite.
“Oh no,” he cheerfully substituted explanation for magic
“there are many people with bad things to say about me
they’re just not here any more.”

For the back story click Backstage

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Author:

Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.

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