Under Their Gun by John Grey

is as much clock
as it is knuckles rubbing eyes.
It’s shuffling in the bathroom
and insistent ticking,
footsteps trudging down stairs
a step or two behind time
and that the rattle of cups,
the hiss of a kettle,
sipping of coffee,
all in aid of the realization
that the hour is uppermost.

By the time
corn flakes are quickly shoveled down
an unsuspecting throat,
a watch face is unnecessary.
A supervisor’s face
has taken over.
The scrub of teeth,
that rifling of the drawer
for clean underwear,
are conducted under
an increasingly impatient eye.

You’re running behind the day
and the day trails
the moment you’re expected
to show up at the office.
Hurried dressing and frazzled commute
live in fear of the whip of duty
that cracks a bare millimeter
from the back of your head.

You make it by the whisker
your razor never quite got to.
Okay. I’m yours now
you whisper to a large loud room
that’s crawling with cubicles.
But it’s had you since
you left work yesterday.

John Gray Copy
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Silkworm work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.

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