the promotion 

December 20, 2016 § 2 Comments

after a few years in purgatory 
middle management there

assigned to me a stool

handed me a clipboard and

said I was in charge of new arrivals
as they were

researching the best deals

on flights and resort packages

and packing up golf clubs and such

they handed me

the key

to the executive washroom 

and hurried through a rundown 

of the purification process 
there are rules to this kind of thing

one of them said 

as he adjusted his tie
another one set his luggage by the door

saying 

got to watch ’em

a sly lot they are 

always complaining about the hours 

and accommodations
I was warned

as they were stuffing themselves into the waiting limo

that the head office sometimes screwed up the duty roster

said I might have to refer to the manual to see what job is best suited to

which offense
up ’til then 

I was a sweeper of halls and stairwells

the mucker-outer of stalls

the peeler of turnips and taters
now the redemption of souls

was in my hands

I wanted naught of it
when the first bus load

pulled up to the gate

I checked off names

and handed out pajamas
the barracks are that way I said

the mess hall over there

keep the noise down I told them

and the place clean
didn’t give much

more instruction 

beyond that
day after day

I sat there

waiting on the bus

doodling in the margins of the rule book
the bosses never did come back

but things were quiet

things were tidy
just as any salvation should be
(c) 2016 Fred Whitehead 

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§ 2 Responses to the promotion 

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