From the collection And Don’t Come Back, published in 2021.
Out of Order
Came to work
under the weather. Thoughts laboring
when they should be skipping. Sentences
tailing off out of focus. Aware of the foot
that hits the ground before I’m ready
the hand that meets the doorknob an instant late
but can do nothing about it.
The flow the motion of the day
it moves in fits and starts. My head aches
something fierce. I’m sure I have a fever.
I can’t work out what these papers on my desk
are wanting me to do with them. The phone rings.
I knock the pencil to the floor
I take the message down
I grasp the pencil
I arrange the paper to write
No, that’s wrong.
It’s all out of order.
I’m out of order.
I’m leaving work now.
6 thoughts on “Out of Order”
Days like that are no fun–you just feel like you should have stayed in bed.
Yes. I remember when I first started working in 1980 you went to work no matter what, even on this kind of day. Ugh.
Days like that these days and you know you need to get home asap so as not to infect others, rest up, and get well.
Used to be – soldier on, tough it out, don’t be a wimp, infect the world.
Yes. I like how things are now in this regard. Dragging through a work day when you were sick, you didn’t do good work and your illness just lasted longer.
Wow you perfectly captured coming to work not feeling well, when you probably should haven stayed home in bed (then you finally realize you should not be there and go home) – been there, done that!
Yes, I remember in the first month of my first real adult job after college, I had to go to work sick because I had not gotten any sick days yet. It’s been 40+ years and I still remember the misery of that week.
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