They sniff their watches
thinking time has a scent.
Or, they call their spouses,
its like having a snack.
Theres popcorn for those who work hard.
Their stomachs bulge with ambition.
Consumption lies flat on its back
while the federal workers sponge the spine
of the week clean,
leaving Friday night plus a beer
to rinse what is left down the drain.
Nancy Allinson recently retired from the federal government, where she had over 40 years of service in the area of training and development. She worked for three different agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Allinson's poems have appeared in Poet Lore, The Federal Poet, Minimus, and Potomac Review. She has been a recipient of a Jenny McKean fellowship, and won the "Bethesda 8" Trolley Poetry Bench competition. Allinson hosts the Kensington Row Bookshop Poetry Reading Series, and serves as President of the Federal Poets.