The corridor is carpeted,
no vinyl or linoleum.
One door from the end
the guide knocks and turns away – her job done.
“ Welcome, ”
the smile is practised and straight
as is the wearer
bearing, parting and posture –
Everything is parallel
no right angles.
No ambiguity, even on the first day.
Forms are signed.
Then a tour : hierarchal
presented to those,
to whom courtesy.must be paid
Others watch from the edge –
mute as a visitor is lead through the palace.
They’ve seen many come – and go. Another first day.
At coffee time, a jumble of handshakes
And comparison – that’s the point.
The predecessor was well liked,
proficiency can be taught
likeability, if not inate, must be learned – quickly.
The first lesson,
on the first day.