I spent some time in my husband’s office earlier this year – on the 21st floor in a city building. The experience led to the writing of several poems, and the idea of being on such a high floor figured in some of them. Remember, I usually spend my days at ground level or one floor above it, so Floor 21 was a different view of the world for me.
This poem was written on a rainy day and as I imagined I’d feel if this were my office and I came to work here every day. It seemed just right for today because, though I’m back at ground level, the rain is just pouring down.
We Have the Luxury of Our Position
Twenty-first floor. Up here
We’re not troubled by the four-o’clock rain
not the oily puddles
slippery street crossings
sodden papers stuck on the subway steps
Street-level, that’s all street level trouble.
We’re twenty-first floor. Up here
it’s scenery, rain is
scenery falling straight from the sky
drawing unsteady lines down our windows
splotching fancy patterns on the building across the street
for people doing paperwork
at the end of the day
the drops tapping gently on our windows
up here on the twenty-first floor.
We turn the lights a little brighter
and we say:
Oh, look –