R and R


The longest vacation, the weather fine
all month, can’t make me quite forget
that emails at the office are piling up.
And I feel guilty screening messages—

though colleagues haven’t called much,
a possible conspiracy: let the Old Man
sleep. When he comes back to work,
he will find his prize protégés hiding
their nakedness from him, and begin
to consider a forty-day-and-night rain.

This void in accomplishment—what
will it be like to retire? Another deity
in my place, worshiped for doing less,
letting Cain get away with murder.

Entire worlds carom like pool balls,
at my cue stroke, into side pockets,
and vanish. I give them momentum
to flee me: then the wizard’s all alone.

I’m first at work in the morning, last
to leave, turning lights out. They say
at coffee break: He thinks he’s God.

Russell Rowland

Russell is from New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.A five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, he is a past winner of Old Red Kimono’s Paris Lake Poetry Contest and twice winner of Descant’s Baskerville Publishers Poetry Prize.His chapbook, “Train of All Cabooses,” is available from Finishing Line Press.

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