Back to Work


The papers slip into place, then

Snap! They're pierced and

Secured. Once, twice, many more

Times I repeat the task at hand.


A light bright blue turns on

And I dig in drawers for silver.

With a press of grey, the panel

Slides back and I offer the sliver


Back to work I go but not

For long. Click. Click. Something

Ill pierced causes a new delay.

Wiggle the sheets and a piece I fling.


Finally done, I onward move to

The whining beast in another room.

I feed it paper and in place of

Hums, I'm met with shrieks of impending doom.


Undeterred, I press on, sheet after sheet

Until an orange light accosts me -

The beast has run out of paper to give

And so I venture down to for more plea.


My prayers answered, the wonderful man

Restores three reams and I onward work.

But another problem arises: A paper jammed

Inside by an error of my own and I seek a desk clerk.


But then I recall: I can fix it myself!

And I delve into the beast.

I find the jam and toss injured sheets,

But when to work I go, still the whining doesn't cease.


The clocks tick on and still I

Play with the beast. But then, a new

Challenge we face: Ink is gone, and

The beast can no longer manage the queue.


I again move out and down to cast

My plea, but it goes unheard.

In this inkless land, these tasks can only

Go undone, yet their demand is absurd.


Untasked, I sit and wait and watch.

Children listen and read and test.

The teacher talks and scans and waits.

And finally a bell rings for us to rest.


At least until the next resounding hour

When we are all recalled to our

Tasks for the remaining day.

And we wouldn't have it any other way.

January 2, 2018