Leave The Snow by John Grochalski

i always
hear these horror stories
of people dying
soon after they retire from jobs
this one found cancer
not six months later
that one had a heart attack
shoveling snow
i once knew a lady
who died on the shitter
midway through her very own
retirement party
it seems to happen way too often
the world works us too hard
it keeps us in the game
and feeding this silly system for the rich
until we’re too old and feeble
to enjoy the fruits of our labor
and our bodies
simply want to give out and go
i often wonder
if i’ll finish that way
told about some incurable disease on the office phone
or dead on the staff toilet
with an elvis turd underneath me
in the cold yellow water
just as my co-workers slice
into that farewell cake
if i make it way beyond that retirement age
and become a fine old
soused and randy
henry miller sage
when they come and ask me for advice
on how i beat the odds
i’ll tell them to eat right and avoid office parties
drink top shelf sometimes
keep the mind sharp with books
and the pecker forever on the move
i’ll tell them
when the storm comes barreling down
on this worthless landscape
forget where you put the shovel
i’ll implore them all
for christ’s sake, kids
just leave the snow.

John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and the forthcoming novel, The Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.

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