I asked my big question
And after confirming the second, third and fifth digits of my secret password,
And my mother’s maiden name, I was put on hold
To listen to Vivaldi, bowing to the voice on the other end of the phone,
Doing what I was told.
I had time to observe
The waxing crescent of a new moon phasing through its first quarter to full brilliance
To its last quarter, to its fading wane, broken
By a recurring message: “Operators are busy. Your call is important.”
Cracked record had spoken.
I doodled and recalled
Catechism questions and answers learned by heart in primary school RE class,
Messages from Jim Rockford’s answering machine,
The names of the actors in The Dirty Dozen and The Magnificent Seven,
Chords to God Save the Queen.
I caught my reflection
In the glass of a framed picture, an artist’s impression of mountains and a lake
And my chin, resting on the highest snowy peak,
Gave it a new dimension, a puppeteer’s raggedy doll with a massive head.
“Anytime this week”.
A click and then a drone,
Cut off by something, someone, an imp, a gremlin getting kicks at my impatience,
Creased-up call centre comedian laughing like hyenas do,
Wasting my time when I’m perfectly capable of wasting it on my own terms.
O Job, I envy you.