In my journal, I note the day’s cadence
and realize that this year–staying home,
still, waiting, counting breaths, staring, losing count: I’m
not marching anymore.
For years, I marched in uniforms and haste;
I marched, chasing perfection and more, hoping
for attention and praise,
nods and small paychecks rewarding my marching.
I marched to the tunes of a tier of bosses stretching to the
tops of buildings, to rooms I never saw, an authority
of men; I pursued their goals,
agreeing they were mine: I withered;
I mean, my spirit dried like an ancient apple
and my gifts broke
from the weight of meetings, record-keeping, hours at screens,
group meetings, staff meetings, meetings to evaluate
meetings, over and over; had I really learned the protocol
for handling blood-borne pathogens? (Yes, years ago; it
never changed). But we acquiesced; we marched; we agreed to agree
that coffee mugs stamped with, “Win
win; make it happen” made our time
and overtime and all the marching
and rather than enter the wild joy of co-creation, we’d march to
performance reviews, team-building activities, time clocks, measured
breaks to intake food and to release, marching faster,
as though we–
unique in our mystery and gift, here only to be
stars mixing and offering our shining shards of joy
before flickering, then falling in night’s dark skies
–were feral beings, best disciplined, success-
fully managed through repetitive busy-work,
The body corporate: a communal dimming of light.
Spirits silenced, gifts shattered (march, march)
by the love-starved minds that ordered
our marching, directed its rhythms: I used to wonder:
Is this what we all wanted
for ourselves when we grew up; we, hopscotching, jump-roping, hula-hooping, skating,
swimming, daydreaming, playing through our never-marching childhood?
And what of those who created and commanded the endless
tasks, charting, paperwork, meetings, the marching
our time, our holy only lives? Did they ever stare through their larger-office windows at the peregrine nesting on the sill (it made news, every year), and weep?
How did they
sleep at night, knowing the misery they purveyed?
Did they march in their dreams? Following orders and
And what is their cadence now, decommissioned, staying at home?
My days are filled
© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.