watch your words

My boss pulled me to one side
to talk about some things
she had overheard.
She wanted me to know that
she was there if I needed to talk
about anything;
work or otherwise.
She tells me that
I need to be careful
who I say things in front of
because she’s concerned
I might upset people
and she doesn’t want me to get in trouble.
I try and bite my tongue
but every morning when my colleagues ask
“how are you today, Less?”
my mouth fills with acid
and I want to claw my throat out
because I don’t know how to answer
while staying in my authority
to not tell anyone what’s going on.

it’s been a long day

Step one in my new life:
starting my new job.
I arrived half an hour early
(because on time is late)
dressed in my smartest clothes
and a cheery expression painted on my face.
In my brand new bag
is a brand new pencil case
filled with brand new stationery
which makes me think of the first day of a new school year
but worse,
because school couldn’t fire you.

“What were you most concerned about?”,
my desk buddy asks.
I fiddle with my lanyard
and security pass
and look around the room for an acceptable answer.
I notice her unicorn mug
and crocheted duck
tucked under her monitor.
“I don’t know,
I suppose I was nervous
that everyone was going to be
a bit stuffy and formal.”
She laughs heartily,
pulling smiles from those around us.
A gentle peace washes over me
and I get the feeling
I’m going to like it here.