at work

it’s just turned 12.01pm
& I’m thinking
that if I’m going to be
a writer
I should use every opportunity.
‘cause I don’t live on a family estate near Boston
or get regular payments from a trust,
& I’m not looking to make it
in the captain’s tower.
besides, I like
the factory poets
the boiler makers
the post office workers breaking their backs
in an iron chair
sorting mail every day for 10 years.
but they too knew
that writing is a horse you must
stay on.
you got to follow it
until it comes in.
even if this is not
a winning poem
it might be
that the one I write tomorrow
is, which is something you learn
that work is an art:
the musician must play
the orator must speak
the teacher must teach
the leader of people must lead.
what I’m saying
is that
I’m going to write
tomorrow at 12.01pm
on the notepads they give us at work
with the pens they give us
to write.

Published in Side Stream 20, July 2009.