9 to 5 Poetry Project, Poem 11: 30 Minutes

Hello hello, internet people. I know it’s been a few days, but I not only went in early, but also worked the dreaded clopen (close shift followed by an opening shift) and didn’t find time enough to sleep more than five hours, let alone make poetry happen. Now, feet and legs throbbing, I bring you poem number 11 in the 9 to 5 poetry project.

30 Minutes

You wouldn’t think a half hour would make much a difference,
But it seems every tick of the tiny metallic hands on my wrist
Echos through cavernous empty aisles, dulled only by cotton,
Silk, and polyester blends that line the racks in every shade.

Tonight begins the new company policy, closing at 10 pm,
Where once we got to shut the doors at 9:30, sharp.
What a difference thirty minutes can make when you’re at work,
Feet throbbing in slate grey Keds, bought for “support”
That your classy, sleek black dress shoes could not supply.

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
The maxim falls flat as the arches in my feet,
And I think bitterly “I want to be a writer”
Should I dress in pajamas? Or perhaps, as an asinine
Writer’s handbook once suggested, a purple feather boa.

You can’t compose poetry without a little whimsy,
Dressing yourself and your words in metaphors.
Mine’s a pair of yoga pants and a white t-shirt–
Do you think a sales associate can compose in that?

Note: We closed a half hour later than usual, and I was bitter. So I made it into a poem.


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