Birth, school, what college and where,
married or not, details of spouse…
I plod through the stodgy questionnaire,
uphill against a midday drowse,
cursing the author of this well-meant tripe.
But something stirs the torpid cynic,
steeped in three decades or more of gall:
“Promotions (indicate foreign assignments held)”
triggers some spring of wicked recall------
Do I go to town, say I trailed
their soulless paper chase, dubbed it moronic,
dropped out for good? Went from the odd beer
to being a rum soak (the only “promotion” I knew)?
Or again, the marriage that never was,
thanks to a mistress I never outgrew…
Outside, a horn’s urgency gives pause
to this bleak litany of uncheer,
as I scour this swathe of unmarked sand
for some tide line of ebb or flow.
But this paper inquisition’s washed out
in negatives, an omnibus NO
spread-eagled on this sorry rout
of a listless life gone out of hand.
And so at last, I’m nearly done.
The last few questions quite anticipate
journey’s end: a stillness settles over this mess.
The game palls, humour soured. Above the date,
Where it says “Permanent Address”
I flourish my last conceit: NONE.