the day that DUSA closed

the alarm went off just after dawn
I got up
I made my bed
I put the kettle on
had coffee & a cigarette
while bad news screamed at me from the TV set
following a breakfast
of cheese toast & bacon,
I took a long, hot shower
to help me fully awaken
got dressed
did my face, arranged my hair
locked the door behind me
without thought or care
down Ward Road I walked
at a relaxed pace
approaching my job
with a smile on my face
Davy B stood by the doors
tanned & composed
as I walked past a sign that read –
wait, it says CLOSED

heart thumping
as I pushed through the door
mine were the only heels
clicking across the floor
WTF? I thought to myself
where’s the usual morning herd?
“Don’t clock in,” said Davy B
“I need to have a word.”
after 18 years in Scotland
that’s a phrase I’ve come to hate:
it means I’m about to be laid off,
made redundant – shown the gate
thus I made my face a blank
I tried to strike an unconcerned pose
as my colleague gently informed me
the Board had decided
DUSA must close
I tried to proffer an objection
insisting there were things
that needed done
before I could just close Reception
“you’ll still be paid for now”
he smiled at me as he said it
my brain heard the message
but my heart didn’t get it

there were emails to answer
spreadsheets to revise
packages to collect from
the delivery guys
phone calls to return
lost property to sort
was all of this to be cut short?
the printers needed toner
there were minutes to type
the desk & the Reception counter
needed a good wipe
there were hugs I needed
to give & receive
can I have time to say goodbye
before I hafta leave?
my heart would not stop pounding
I felt a trickle of fear
as from the corner of my eye
dropped that first salty tear
but dude was silent
not a lot was left to say
as he guided me through the doors
& watched me walk away
I took the long way home
trying not to cry
I wanted to pray
but all I could do was wonder why

copyright © 2020 KPM

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