In the cavernous food court
Of their office building
The men in gray find their daily food
For the half hour, perhaps a whole hour
They allow for lunch
Between a phone call and the filling of a form
Calculating precisely how long the path is to retirement.
On plastic trays, they put hamburgers or ham sandwiches
The occasional fries also
A bottle, of juice, sliding dangerously
Threatening to spill the whole tray
If not caught by a spasm of hunched shoulders.
From plastic chairs attached to plastic tables
They occupy their tired minds
With a strategic view of a TV on the wall
Playing something they will soon forget.
A man in black, the word SECURITY on his back,
Making sure, in his silence
They are happy and undisturbed.
Oh, how they long for retirement
As they adjust mentally their calculation
Glancing at their watches
Dreaming of doing what they want
The enjoyment of the rest of their lives
In the tranquility of a well-furnished living-room
Free to choose from the day’s options
After a late breakfast
Grinning from a coffee mug at the radio’s traffic report.
With those happy thoughts they rise
Empty the plastic trays and pile them up neatly
To phone calls and the filling of forms.