Cold Place

Outdoor air examines resolve
back-burning cold, fall’s autumn 
shivering, on line, stunned

Winter’s cold-weather words
seize the core–modest sweater
calls notice, says: to be fair

Inferior awareness
created this jam

Happy Birthday, Employee

Can you believe a man had to go to court
over his own birthday—whether or not he would celebrate

at work, where he’d already said, “No, thank you”
and offered explanation.

Not that he should need to give, or be pressed for, information
Personal, no less! But some won’t accept polite declination

Weighing his options, with composure he says
“I’m shy, the stress of it all, and I just don’t like the focus”.

So they press and cause a scene which of course, at work
permanently, unnecessarily taints his image—for his birthday … beyond

The moment won’t pass. He has a panic attack, which, at work
ruins their outlook; they fire him, basically and in effect, for his birthday.

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Photo by Maria Orlova on