Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Last to Leave

Last to Leave

The last to leave stands at the door,
facing in, finger resting on the light switch.
Before stemming the flow of light, he gazes
across the room. He feels such fondness
for this place. His computer, his colleagues’
computers, are tucked into themselves,
sleeping hens. The black netted chairs
have been parked neatly beneath the desks.
The end-of-day tidying undoes the work
of the day. The phone, the keyboard,
the chairs--who knows the last time
they were touched. Satisfied, he presses
the switch. He pulls the knob in leaving,
joins the door with the wall it was cut from.
This flock is his. He welcomes locking up.


  1. From Therese B. - I love this! I love the hen imagery, the office as chicken coop or poultry stall. It reminds me of fairy tales in which, as soon as the human turns his back, the animals or objects come alive and maybe plot against him. It also reminds me of Kay Ryan's poem about how all our chickens come home to roost! Does a computer lay an egg at night? Maybe the eggs are the automatic software upgrades?

  2. I've been there and done that! You capture it beautifully.

  3. The chicken imagery, as Anonymous says, is so apt. We come to belong to places, even if just our office, and that last line captures the sense of belonging perfectly. The line about the end of day tidying reflects something I often feel. It erases the evidence that something was actually accomplished. Which might account for the state of my work space.
    Thanks for dropping by. I'm moving to a new address - http://secretpoemstls.blogspot.com/
    and hope to see you there.

  4. This reminded of the Mad Men office set at the end of the day.

  5. Hi Hannah,
    This poem left me with a pleasant feeling of quiet satisfaction. The feeling can apply to any place you are fond of, an office space, the living room you've straightened just before bedtime, the Christmas tree after you've left the final presents under it on Christmas Eve, and you can't stop gazing. I like Therese B.'s concept of all the objects in a room coming alive at night, only I view their activity as benevolent.


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