When You Feel Like Crying at a Faculty Meeting
A job is what you can hold in the palm of your hand—
here, son, a plot of land, a lamb in its wool
You can ball it up
It can ball you up
(a cut star said it another way)
so we are packing boxes I am leaving leaving leaving
Handcuffs of velvet, handcuffs of gold
Feeling my water
Putting on my silver (like Joni in “Carey”)
A rounder tree said you are going toward, not running away
A terror is what I hold behind my left shoulderblade where there could be a vestigal wing,
hurt I was born with
A secure job is a body memory
A voting bloc is not a community, either
They are making proposals and I’m writing this down
Even so I’m paying more attention than the one in the corner who cannot comply
No one is getting married today
Are my teeth just chattering?
How many dollars for less time outside the home?
And what work will I do what work will I do what work will I do
Really means money
Is the job in the field?
You know I think yes I am going toward more working in a field
Green grass, lamb—oh let’s not with the pastoral
But it’s there it’s open
A completely unlocked unknowing
“When You Feel Like Crying at a Faculty Meeting” first appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, 36.2.