Was Death Too Good for Me?

31 October 2012

‘A salesman is got to dream, boy’ … Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman

I offered no resistance
for I went without a struggle;
I was high and dry and stranded,
no commitments left to juggle.

The Board convened a meeting
with the CEO’s permission—
forward estimates in tatters,
there could be no intercession.

I offered no resistance when they
touched me on the shoulder,
saying, ‘Sorry but we’ll have to let you go—
markets weaken; banks are bolder,

don’t you know?’ So I went without
a struggle, disconnected from that day.
And cleared my desk of flotsam,
though abundant jetsam lay.

Purloined some storage boxes,
put the in-tray with the out-tray
and my tea mug in the trash. Just
photos of my loved ones took away.

I offered no resistance
when security came calling,
saying, ‘Today’s no time for stalling
as the shades of night are falling.’

So they marched me to the exit
and things were looking grim,
when up and spoke the doorman,
his guard dog close beside him:

‘Come, lad. For two pennies
I will ferry you t’other side
of town!’ I went without a struggle.
He seemed a kindly guide,

so I offered no resistance.
‘I’ve helped plenty here to cross.’
I knew he meant his river trip
might console me for my loss.

As I lingered in the gloaming,
a thought was slowly shaping,
(for I went without a struggle)
so from what was I escaping?

And those I’d left behind me,
always fawning to the bosses,
were they sorry for my going
or rejoicing at my losses?

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