Now or never

When they told me to rise,
to hail them as ‘Sir’,
to line up against the wall,
to keep a diary and sow my dreams
with miserable tasks whose lonely terror,
to this day, can erupt my nights in violent sweat,
then breath of heavy, sweet relief – there being no exam,
no hovering executioner’s axe;
when they harried me from sleep,
into livery and tie,
the bell scurry,
cacophony and hole
to answer my surname so that I may
drag bag of curled books
from dread to dread,
how did I possibly obey?
I knew nothing better.

From Museum Studies – Poems of Retail Assistant

Author: Workers' Archive

Covering sensitivity at work and beyond on my website: https://samuelaliblog.wordpress.com/

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