Early Retirement

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
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. 

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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