Monday, April 25, 2011

R. Whalen Napping

West Hall is filled with geriatrics;

It seems the people that fill these offices,

Not one is under the age of fifty.

Older women dressed in sweaters and slacks

With Black Hills Gold earrings

And oversized gaudy necklaces

Dyed, perfectly styled hair.

Their desks strewn with pictures

Of children, and grandchildren

And comedic cats.

There is an office door which is almost always closed.

R. Whalen states the plaque.

The door when open, reveals an ancient man

In his eighties

His balding, liver spotted head

Resting on his chest in an afternoon nap.

Wearing a dignified navy blue sweater vest

Looking the part of the retired professor.

I wonder if he passed away, in his sleep

In that hot cramped office, would people notice

His leaving,

Or think he was merely napping?


Catherine Schmidt

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