Today’s Poetic Asides prompt suggested embracing that “Monday — back to work” feeling to write a poem about the office or office life. For me, this coincided a little with the NaPoWriMo prompt to incorporate the “language of home” into a poem. I’ve done a little of this here, but think I’d like to incorporate more in the revision stages with this poem:
His real office was his car,
the commute and the workday one
as he crisscrossed Saskatchewan,
breaking every stock image of the
smooth talking traveling salesman.
At home, the office I knew, a scarred
metal desk, tucked in the back corner
of our basement, surrounded by file boxes,
piled memos — neatly classified chaos,
and always a cup of coffee.
A place to do paperwork, a strangely
alluring word to me. Important, and something
adult that must be done, would be done
by me, someday. I could help with the stapling,
when packets of papers were needed, reading
names for inventory, and carrying heavy sample
boxes, stacked like giant Lego bricks,
at the bottom of the stairs.
My Dad, always going places, going to get
ahead and mostly to get back
to us — our baseball games, dance recitals, plays.
And my Mom, the Chief Everything Officer who
never left the office, never saw a paycheque
and never let any of us down.
This Is Not A Literary Journal invites reflection on a “thing” or a treasured thing we no longer have, and asks us to write an ode to it. It reminded me of Don McKay’s nuanced tribute to the cutlery we all use everyday in “Setting the Table”. You can watch the revered poet himself reading it here.