The Desk and I
It sits there, mute, though stuffed with messages.
What is it anyway – writing surface, in-box,
Filing cabinet, elbow-rester, to-do list, scold?
I know it has a voice, but when it’s bare,
Pristine-clean and ordered, I, too, am a blank.
It’s of no use to talk to it then,
As it waits to hear from me before yielding advice.
When I start writing, it’s a different matter.
The piles on it mount and the desk can speak.
What seems like clutter becomes layers of thought,
What appears random hides hidden order,
One the desk knows but won’t reveal simply.
I scrabble around, and it’s no walk in the park.
It takes time to unearth buried nuggets.
The desk demands a quid pro quo:
It will to give back to me only that
Which I have already given to it.
That is, I think, an unreasonable deal.
After all, I’m a reasonable guy.
I go through coaxing, cajoling, then begging
That slab of wood to give up its secrets.
Finally, I’ve had enough.
Stop messing around, I yell in vain.
You’re there for me to work on,
It’s no fair, your working on me!
Charles B. Neff
October 31, 2010