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Lament

By J.K. Durick

I have spent my not inconsiderable time
somewhere between a yawn and a round of applause,
between turgidity and eloquence, buffoonery and wit –
the polite middle ground, as if moderation were its own
reward, significant pay.

My chairman once told me that he had never heard
a bad report about me, nor a good one, nor any report
at all. I have achieved a careful silence in my work.

This is how the good child burns out, burns down
to this, never the candle at both ends, the midnight oil,
a brief candle’s worth of Aristotelian ethics
in a striped tie and oxford cloth shirt.

I am waiting here in my grey car in this rain, waiting
till five minutes before – never early, nor late,
it’s a rule with me: nothing worth a comment or a sigh.

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