Poem by Carolyn Gregory
Illustration by James Conant
The Job Review
for Susan Donnelly
Like a boil, my worry popped this morning
when the optometrist and admin took me in
and updated my review –
Competencies Unmet. . .
my sins too numerous to mention here
for polite folk,
my hands sweaty and folded in my lap,
incapable of public prayer.
This morning very early,
Louis Armstrong sings
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen,
nobody knows my sorrow.
In my mind’s eye,
New Orleans floats by on a bloody mattress.
Once again, I’ve failed.
Too tall, too left-handed, too disorganized, et cetera.
It’s time for yet another public whipping –
Bind my wrists,
shoot little flaming arrows into my flesh
and shut the door on my grievances –
In the bigger scheme,
my voice doesn’t count,
just the ability to say
Yes Sir, Yes Ma’am,
type up a storm of Holy Spreadsheets
and prop up a sagging floor plan.