The Long Game

From Clean Canvas, 2018.

The Long Game

i.
When I came home
late in the afternoon
the sharp-eyed man
worldly before he was born
and prone to discouragement afterwards
said
That’s an idea, certainly.

ii.
I am
optimistic by nature
and not naïve
I prefer
hopeful.
No different today.
I somehow got it wrong
thinking the infinitesimal eyebrow lift
meant approval
for my heartfelt
meticulously detailed
scheme
but have you noticed that
a pause
and another brief pause
add up to
Discouragement?


iii.
He and I
we like to say we get along very well
each of us pretends to know
to understand
the other
matching like a table and chair
but really
I’ve never gotten past the front hall
of his mind
and he’s certainly never been in the kitchen
of my thoughts
We’ve made good partners
we fit in that category
of unlike
and unliking
and yet alike enough
It certainly was a perfect state of affairs
given our line of work.

iv.
Now
let’s try again. My scheme.
Is it the location? The parts? Or is it because
it is mine?

v.
I do believe
this time
you might be
jealous.

2/9/18

2 thoughts on “The Long Game

  1. Your poem reminds me of when I was only a couple of years into my teaching career and had to work with a man who always summarily dismissed my ideas. Initially I would fret that it was because my ideas were flawed and I would pore over them trying to figure out what was wrong with them. Gradually I realised that the only actual flaw he saw with my suggestions was that they came from me, someone who was much younger than he was and also female. It was my first but sadly not last experience of workplace misogyny.

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