Where He Works
At the institution where he works,
people pass each other in corridors
or outside. They say hello for 10,
15, 20, 30 years. They recall each other's
names. Or not. They "work together"--
not really. Each is after only her or his
cup of compensation, acknowledgement.
Sometimes one person gets excised by the
institution. Efficiently cut away. It
upsets a few people. For a while. Then,
more soon than late, there's no memory
of who left, who got removed. The
institution is like a moored ship full
of ghosts. It's not going anywhere.
Hello, goodbye, request, deny.
The institution sometimes consults
the ghosts before it changes
things. This is an especially empty
ritual. A polite and airless drama.
After one ghost leaves, another
takes its place. Or not. Hi. Nice
to see you. See you later. Thanks! No.
Copyright 2011 Hans Ostrom