Petty Fascism in the Clerical Underclass (#poem)

man desk notebook office

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

You sit behind your desk with all the power in the world
That can be contained by these four walls.
You can humanize the experience for whirled
Emotions or you can pretend to be master of laws

You take the latter approach, of course.
Without making me miserable, your life has no meaning
Feeling small, you mount a high horse
And squash any dignity you see gleaming

You’re perfunctory, it goes without saying,
But must you also be so sanctimonious
While you are pedantically conveying
Your need to make this acrimonious?

You have the power over me now, it’s true,
And you know I can’t answer back.
For the time being, I have to eschew
My insults, but I plan a counter attack.

When you get home, you have only the dog to kick,
But you’ve joined me with the anonymous masses
You needled me when I was in a state of near panic,
But we’re now on level ground, paying equally for our trespasses

You’re a one-person version of the Stanford Prison Experiment
And I understand. I’ve also had moments of totalitarian zeal
Our quiet desperation leads us to act to other’s detriment
A momentary, flickering power is all that we wield

When I look at you, I stare into the mirror
We share an existence with no real significance
In this brief power struggle, all becomes clearer
I’m the boulder to your vain Sisyphus

But outside the glare of white walls and white lights
I forget your eyes, your voice, and your power
My planned attack fades like a lost, loveless night
And I sink into the despair of light’s last hour

Someone has found a reason to love you, I imagine
And some fools care about me for one thing or another
This is all we have or will have, my soulless friend,
And that is just enough, or is it?, I wonder.

About ethicsbeyondcompliance

I hold a PhD in medical humanities with an major emphasis in ethics. I began teaching college-level ethics in 2000.
This entry was posted in poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply