It has always been curious to me
in each other.
they busy themselves
with their business.
they laugh a false laugh.
Many of them
because they feel taken-for-granted
their value is bought by the hour
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
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
they will call you “anti-social”
and then you will have achieved something
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
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