Calling in Sick

"I cannot go to work today,"
Said middle manager Peg McKay.
"I've had enough of bullshit meetings,
Mindless tasks and smarmy greetings.
My inbox fills me up with dread—
Two thousand emails still unread.
So many deadlines I could cry,
My blood pressure is crazy high.
My jaws are clenched, it's hard to speak,
My headache's pounded for a week.
My nails are chewed to bloody nubs.
My ego's bruised by boss's snubs.
Carpal tunnel wrecked my wrists—
I cannot type more to-do lists.
My shoulders hunch, my back is sore,
There is no strength left in my core.
My pants are tight, I chafe and groan,
I've gained ten pounds this month alone
From being chained to my desk chair.
I want to rip out all my hair.
Then I'd be bald as well as stressed.
I might be clinically depressed.
My head keeps bumping ceiling glass,
My lips are chapped from kissing ass.
My tongue is raw from licking boots.
Do I enjoy my labor's fruits?
No raise, promotion—not one perk.
My sole reward is tons more work.
I've lost all hope, my heart is—what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is... Saturday?
I'm off to yoga, Namaste!"

by E.A. Cockle

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E.A. Cockle is as dedicated to writing as she is to being a good cat mommy. She lives in Toronto, ON, where she is a member of CITADEL. Her work has appeared in Hello Writer, Poetry Atlas, Bonsai Journal, and 2Elizabeths. You can find her on Instagram @ej_colling.