The Office Move

You left a lot of stuff behind me on the shelves:

I’ve spent the last two hours dumping it in bags.

Sense and economics dictate a relocation

but the dust is floating now and

sometimes, when I sneeze, it hurts.

 

The recycling bags are deep and the copier’s marooned:

two days until collection and it will soon be lost

behind a heap of trees

environmentally circled, reconnecting to each end;

but that doesn’t unwrite pages.

 

The empty box files are stacked up inside each other.

They tessellate in crushed and flapping towers, and recreate

our campaigns in chaotic mini piles

organised in hopeless disarray.

Our pride is gone, but there’s fun in this cleansing.

 

I’m dumping files on other’s desks

because they’re the ones who know what’s good

to throw and what to guard.

A clinical exercise to cut away

the worthless that weighs upon the move.

 

But I can’t throw this: it’s your day-book.

 

And suddenly I look away and blink

and try to think like a man

who deals with stress and strain as calculated values,

not imprints of the soul.

But I can’t.

Your spidery writing is just like mine, though legible,

and I feel it with fingertips, embossed because you always pressed so hard.

 

 

She’s found another cupboard

of boxes, all labelled,

yielding up unwanted work – yet more decisions.

And now she asks me, should we take your photograph

hanging on the wall?

Give me another day.

 

It’s coming and you’re staying.

You were young

but can’t come.

We’ll take it with us

in the packing boxes.

The rest we’ll leave behind.