It has always been curious to me

how uninterested

people are

in each other.

At work

they busy themselves

with their business.

At home

they laugh a false laugh.

Many of them

are angry

because they feel taken-for-granted

their value is bought by the hour

In time

they come to believe they are worth more.

We should feel insulted

that there’s a price on our time.

We have agreed that our best years

are worth a wage

but the real tragedy

is when we negotiate

for higher pay and position

looking down on where we used to be

looking down on those below us

looking up

to where we might go

looking up to the people who have it better than we do

To trust the value of our time

to people who don’t care

is like trusting fools with gold

Just watch and wait,

when you find confidence outside of your job

the boss will try to put you in line

the important people, will sneer at your self-importance

If they are thoughtful, they might ask, “Where does his self-esteem come from?”

and they will try to minimize it

with jabs, and all attempts to control

and when you continue to have unreasonable belief

in yourself

they will call you “anti-social”

and then you will have achieved something

few achieve

their only recourse is to stay silent

while you stay silent

and you both play the silent game

and the years pass

and time is a critic

laughing at us all

when no one is around.

At the retirement party

many who traded their time will say, “I wasted my life.”

expecting someone to reassure them

they didn’t

but no one cares

All they want is another piece of raspberry-chocolate cake

before they get back to work.

They’ll forget about you

like you were never there.

You traded your birthright


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