9 to 5 Poetry Project, Poem 21: Things I Swore I’d Never Do

Hello, internet people! Today, I had a day off while I went and did what was essential the social anxiety form of suicide–met an entire group of brand new people at once. I was graciously invited by my soon-to-be new employer on a company outing to a lake in which I jumped from a cliff with said new people, and as part of my “out of the comfort” zone motto, I went. And guess what? I didn’t die! Either from cliff jumping (admittedly, it was the smallest platform) or from anxiety!

I did have trouble caring about anything else yesterday (including sleep), so that’s why Tuesday’s poem is coming in late. I worry that, once this poetry project is over, my blog posts are going to center entirely too much on the deeply uninteresting “I’m really bad at social things” crises I’m probably going to have weekly once I’ve moved into a new apartment and started a new job all in one fell swoop. Peace out, comfort zone. But more on that later. For now, poetry!

This is number 21, which means the 9 to 5 Poetry Project is officially old enough to drink! Okay, I’ll just go crawl in the terrible joke hole now while you read a poem:

Things I Swore I’d Never Do

In the back corner of the supply closet
Sits a yellow bucket and an old, dingy mop.
“I am not a janitor” was my mantra,
Empty Starbucks cups held at arm’s length,
The occasional abandoned diaper,
Or gently used tissue crumpled in a cart.
Over four years, I had taken a lot of shit
From customers, but I would not clean it up.

And yet, warm water flows through the hose,
Filling the bucket suds, laced with lye.
Less than a month to go, and here I am,
The bucket unsteady in unpracticed hands.
I revisit mental lists from years gone by,
Think of all the things I swore I’d never do—
Decide never to promise myself never, or always.

Note: Yesterday, there was what could only have been poop smeared on the floor in the kids’ department at work. Since I was the first one who saw it, I decided it was my job to clean it up. And I did, which got me thinking about all the other things I told myself I’d never do but ended up doing anyway when the situation presented itself.

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One thought on “9 to 5 Poetry Project, Poem 21: Things I Swore I’d Never Do

  1. It is exactly how you come to the realization that you have grown up. There is no defining moment, it just happens. One day you realize that you are now an adult. It is evidenced by your actions which are mature, correct, and good. Not easy, but definitely rewarding.

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