Sitting Next to Goldilocks
Attendant to her every wish and whim
they're all run ragged, desperate to win
her favour, kowtow, give her what she wants
to ward off histrionics, tantrums, rants.

Her ergonomic chair's too high, too low,
computer's full of bugs, responds too slow,
her wireless slim-line mouse, the gripís not right,
fluorescent lights too dim, then far too bright.

She leans to me, confides more problems still:
our colleagues are too secretive, too shrill,
her daily grind too tedious, too stressed,
our training protocols are all a mess.

But then, once she detects my apathy,
the tables turn and focus shifts to me.
My merely breathing makes her moan and groan,
canít even tap my keyboard, use the phone.

To sidestep hissy fits and huffy sighs
I'm forced to feign concern and toe the line
just like the rest, in case I flick the switch
from Princess and the Pea to Wicked Witch.

Ann Gibson

If you have any comments on this poem, Ann Gibson would be pleased to hear from you.