Out of office auto-response

desks morph into surplus femurs
stalking unlit rooms    chairs
are pelvises minus a sense of swing

walls creep further apart each day
carpet oceans lap workstations
nobody needs to raise a voice now

on the executive floor a plaque
prone as an exhausted dog    this was
the best place to work, years ago

the manager’s books have broken spines
someone had given her how to live off-grid
unplugged, she had no call for it

inspirational quotes wait to paraglide
from cupboards as their tack-balls dry
be the change you want to see    below,

a team picture, glammed-up for an award
smiles fizz everywhere    can you remember
who laughed most that night?

reconfiguration, restructuring    pulled
apart, parts bolted back together
so many bones    no longer needed



Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield. His poems have been published in journals including Magma and Under the Radar, and on a bus in Guernsey.