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Another Farewell

by Chris Sorrenti

     For Debbie
     RIP 1954-2019

Vividly recalled that afternoon five years ago
I ran into you in the backyard
and proudly announced my retirement

Being a fellow civil servant, you were genuinely happy for me
saying you yourself had only four years to go
though for some reason decided to stay on

Both knowing too well the meat grinder
of long hours and ‘other related duties’
how many work all their lives
tragically, only to pass before seeing retirement

I told you several times how I had to get out of there
as much as I loved the work, the job was killing me
just one of thousands with too much on their plates

And now, having been neighbors for almost 30 years
you and Garnet, me and Jason
and for a time, Dawn too
over barbecues and Reggae music
your talent with flowers
there’s always been a certain chemistry
that radiated between us
allowing all to fall into the trap
that nothing would ever change

It’ll be six years for me in June
so glad I took that leap of faith
my boss emailed me recently
asked if I’d like to go back, part-time
thought it over for maybe five minutes
then replied, thanks, but no thanks

 photo Debs Flowers by Chris Sorrenti -September 2013. RED5050.jpg

© 2019
Photo: Some of Deb’s flowers © September 2013 by author

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Author's Note: Like many things in life, working for the Canadian federal government can be a two-edged sword. Good pay and benefits, a secure pension, but always too much work for too few people. Stress related Leave is a common occurrence. Every position in the government has what’s known as a Job Description. Other Related Duties is a term that appears at the bottom of many Job Descriptions. It’s a way for Management to cover themselves, should new/unexpected tasks come up, that within reason, a manager can add to an employee’s workload. Otherwise, the employee...and the Union could complain it’s not in his or her Job Description.

Posted on 03/14/2019
Copyright © 2020 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Glenn Currier on 03/16/19 at 03:09 PM

Ah! Chris, what a beautiful tribute and gift to us a blessing from Debbie through Chris' hand and heart. Thanks too for the Note of explanation. How little the masses appreciate the daily labor of the humans in the governmental workforce who make their/our lives work, give comfort to our later days and allow us to sleep at night. The pic of the flowers brings her alive in a lovely aspect. Blessings to you good friend.

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