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Long Shadows

Edmund Siejka Avatar Edmund Siejka - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Long Shadows which was written by poet Edmund Siejka. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Long Shadows

He waited 
Under fluorescent lighting
The kind that highlighted
His salt and pepper hair
It was almost 5:30
Quitting time 
But he didn’t have to worry about that anymore
Today was his last day
The people in the office took him out to lunch
Had a round of drinks
Opened a few cards
Hugged one of the secretaries
Felt pretty good about himself
But what next? 

Adjusting his glasses he looked straight ahead
The tools on his workbench 
Grimy 
Cold metal
After twenty years still usable and dependable
Pliers, screwdrivers 
Lined up in front just the way he organized them 
Some lost
Some borrowed but eventually all returned
He wondered if he would miss holding the hefty hammer
The one with the smooth maple handle?

There was nothing more to do
Would he bring his tools home?
Or come back for them later?

Rubbing his hands
To keep his fingers moving
He lingered at his bench
Until it was time to leave
A day’s pay for a day’s work
That what his father told him
Back when.

Put off the final decision 
To retire as long as he could
When he signed the papers 
It felt like somebody lifted him up
And put him in another life
Careful with money
Saved all these years
With Social Security
He and his wife hoped it would be enough
To see them through.

Enough thinking
It was time to leave
Waving to a few co-workers
He walked out 
The shop door closing behind him
Brick building
Casting its large shadow behind him
Outside it was the usual scene
Busy streets 
Crowded coffee shop
Sounds of buses and traffic
In a hurry to get somewhere.
 
This time it was different
A cold chill of exhilaration 
Gripped him in a vise of uncertainty
He couldn’t believe he 
Was walking away 
From decades of 
What was once familiar
And part of him. 


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  1. Date: 2/3/2012 10:24:00 AM

    But what next? Well done Edmund. -oxox love Anne-Lise