New poetry by Nicolette Hylan-King
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,
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
Dashing for the door at 4:58 sharp,
not apologizing for delayed responses
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.