They actually get paid for what
they do, busily marking up giant
sheets of Post-it and ripping them
off to slap on the conveniently

broad swathes of bland wall space.
We, their captives, mostly play nice,
vapid salvos hurled that add nothing
much, maybe even depleting the

imperiled supply of collective intelligence
tidepooling here — eddies of fleeting
awareness inevitably washing out on
a sea of “can I piggy-back on that”
and “let’s think outside the box.”

It seems we want to protect the
delicate feelings of this un-dynamic
duo, and painful, yawning pauses are
deemed cruel and possibly tasteless,

considering the array of juicy
berries, pot-stickers, cheese blocks,
grains, and chocolates we have
all just consumed.

Faces around the jerry-rigged square
mostly serve up a soupcon of
attentiveness — real and contrived —
and ill-fitting masks of quiet desperation.

Whose idea was this, anyway?
We may never really know, so
inevitable has this surreal
exercise in emptying brains

and garnering good will from
strangers become in the
modern western workplace.

It’s a twenty-first century fable.
The emperor is wearing no clothes
because apparently we’ve all bought
them.  But it’s a win-win.

We’re remaining open to possibilities,
staying pro-active, exploring what
respect would look like if we caught
it on video, and praying for a
swift, unnatural death.