Monday, February 13, 2012

Not Even In Your Wildest Dreams

I have been having
This recurring
In which
I am no longer
At my worksite
As the person
That I have always
Heretofore been
It was as if
(Seemingly overnight)
I had become
Persona non grata

In the dream/nightmare
I report for work
In the morning
As usual
Only to find
That my work desk
Has been moved
To a new location
I am given no
As to why
This has been done

My new desk site
Is located in the stair well
I have no phone
No computer
Not even a desk blotter
My usual comfortable
Swivel chair
Has been switched
For something
That looks
Like it came
From a junk yard

I am given no new
Work assignments
All I do
Is sit idly at my desk
While co-workers
Pass me by
Going up and down
The stair case
As if I were
A ghost

On payday
I do not receive
A paycheck
When I call payroll
To complain
They say that they
Have no record of  me
As an employee of
ACME Widgets
I tell them that
I have been employed at
ACME Widgets
For the past
Twenty years
(All to no avail)

When I return home
To my apartment
The key fails
To open the door
In its customary fashion
I knock
The door opens
And I see that
Strangers are now
Living in my apartment
When I check with
Building management
I am told
That I had failed
To pay  my rent
For the past three months
(And they insisted
On being paid)

When  I finally
Wake up
In a cold sweat
I have to remind myself
That I had been dreaming
That it was all just a dream

I still had a job
As a social worker for the
City of Philadelphia
Where I am valued as a
Respected and trusted
And I was still
Living in my own home
In fact
(This being the weekend)
I did not have to
Roll out of bed
And go to work at all

I go to the kitchen
And make myself
A cup of
Hot black coffee

As I lift
The cup to drink
My still shaking hands
Causes the coffee
To spill

From out of nowhere
A total stranger appears
To hand me a
Paper towel to
Wipe up the spill
“Your office just called”
Says the stranger
“They say that
You need not bother
To report to work
On Monday
Your position has been
Eliminated due to budget cuts”

I stumble back to bed
And pull the covers
Over my head
I try to fall back to sleep
To see if I can dream
A different kind of dream
(If I  can dream hard enough)
I may be able
To have
My old life
Back again
(After all
What more
Do I have left
To lose?)

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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