Posted in Love

Inventory

 

Things were simple then – before electronic cash registers,
a bill of sale, blue ballpoint description of goods,
and tax inclusive price.
The rules said all workers were entitled to :
wet weather gear – coat and leggings
spray respirator
gloves
goggles
rubber boots.
New. Every 12 months. Safety. Thus spoke the Union

Once a year, almost all arrived with bill of sale
received reimbursement
went to work with old equipment and home,
to a new lawnmower,
or dollar equivalent from the hardware store.

The contract ended unhappily – not renewed.
The administration officer stated politely
somewhat apologetically
gear less than 12 months old was workplace property –
could be used for casuals and short-term employees …
“sorry, but could you …”
I asked him : “should I bring my lawnmower as well?”

No comment about sarcasm
or intrinsic unlikelihood of ownership.
No observation of small mindedness
or recitation of employment conditions
dignified and gentle he said, “I’d be really grateful.”

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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.