don't die press

Two poems

by , on
2021-04-22

New poetry by Nicolette Hylan-King

Nothing Personal

I’m sorry, but this office was
never intended for lactation.
This is a firm, not a farm.
You’re an editor, not a dairy cow.
The plexiglass walls were meant
to spread natural light,
not to shield leaking breasts.
The law requires me to hand you this key
to a private space downstairs
where you can do whatever it is you need to do,
but please, spare us the details.
This office was built for production,
not reproduction.
Why are you back so soon, anyhow?
Doesn’t HR offer maternity leave?
And no, you can’t work from home
two days a week.
That wouldn’t be fair to your colleagues
who didn’t just push a human being
out of their bodies,
now would it?
I’m glad you understand.
It’s nothing personal, really.
We’re all family here.

Mediocre Professional of the Year

I want to be known for professional
mediocrity.
Dashing for the door at 4:58 sharp,
not apologizing for delayed responses
to emails,
unflapped when quarterly earnings
hit record lows.
And when I am named Mediocre Professional of the Year,
please, keep the plaque.
I like my walls clear
like my headspace.