Daily Archives: July 24, 2018

Early Retirement

Y’know,
when I had a job
I liked my job.
My HR job —

yeah, I was 
one of those.

I liked the problems,
I liked the people
at my job.

At my job
the bosses liked it when

I listened
and answered 

as they expected.

If I disagreed or took another tack
they called it “recreational arguing”
and dinged me on my review,
year after year,
for doing so.

A disrespectful thing to say —
as if I did not care, as if
this was a game to me — 

as if the day to day labor
of how to make lives better
during the third of a lifetime
people spend at work
was amusing, was not worth
consideration
from multiple angles.

They won. 
They won
a different game,
one I didn’t know
I was playing.

Years ago now,
all of that. Water 
over the top
of a failed dam.

I do not argue anymore
for game or love
or righteousness.
They taught me
how to play the real game —

the one where I sit
and wait in the dark.

I sit and think
of how to play the game.

I sit in the dark
even while 
the dark sits in me. 


Bleaching

Before we begin,
a quick explanation of the Process

might be in order since
you may be wondering what is involved.

The Process removes
not only color but fragrance as well;

strips away the stain
of your inconvenient birth;

lifts and separates you
from your base;

gives you a flag
to cover your wounds;

is an offer, an estimate,
a matching grant;

allows for some variance
as a flavor, a hint. 

Lucky you —
not everyone

is afforded access
to the Process,

but you look like
the type. You look like

someone who would
do well with it, who

would be worthy of it.
Who would support it

after you’d been through it
Who would help enforce it. 

Who would know 
how to choose the right people

to go through it
in the future.

If from this you don’t
understand completely

how it works,
that’s all to the good.

It’s not necessary to see
all the machinery behind it

as long as you are willing
to go through it. In fact

that might reduce your
willingness, seeing all

the boring milling
and smoothing involved

in the Process.  It might
put you off what we promise

is a delightful result.
What we promise you

is a lightening of
the load you carry.

What we offer is
a great hope; you know,

I’m certain, 
the kind of hope we mean.

The kind of hope carried like
an unquestioned passport

over the walls and fences
you may encounter.

The kind of hope
on which this country was founded.

The kind of hope
that can stop a bullet.