“Witsec” by Frederick Pollack

Someplace you can easily blend in.
But I’ve become so obedient,
quiet, grateful for attention,
and was always, if truth be told
(which it is, I’ve told it) colorless,
I could blend in anyplace.
Anywhere people walk with canes,
the halt, the blind, haters of cold,
sufferers. (I don’t discuss the cane, the lasting
fruit of a brief misunderstanding.
I miss the one my late associates bought me.)
The agents – the usual three,
a pleasant girl, one harsh one silent guy –
show pictures of a bungalow
twelve limping blocks from a crowded beach.
It will do. An office
where I shall uncreatively keep accounts.
Local amenities one could, I suppose,
develop a taste for. I nod
and nod. I nod at all the rules.
They want me to sign, for the last time, my real name.
Are surprised when I say
I want my former boss to show me around
the house, his genuinely evil
woman to choose the suits I will wear
to work, his chief enforcer,
crushing every impulse, to swing my hammock.

Author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS (Story Line Press; the former to be reissued by Red Hen Press), and two collections, A POVERTY OF WORDS (Prolific Press, 2015) and LANDSCAPE WITH MUTANT (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018). Many other poems in print and online journals.