The Annual Review

i sit across the desk from my employee.
The review forms are fanned out
Beneath my folded hands,
Like a model of an auditorium,
Where my knuckles are the footlights.

My job is not to judge him,
But to know him.
However much I might disavow my power,
Power is what i have.

That power obstructs knowing--
Occludes my sight.
My tiny fiefdom wavers in the harsh winds of commerce:
How, i wonder, did medieval kings review their lords and vassals,
Remain standing in the maelstrom of mutiny and calumny
That daily greeted them?

No matter:
i tell my employee what i know
Ask him to tell me what he knows;
Together we search for agreement
On a way forward;
We smile and laugh;
The way begins.

He has taught me a lot in an hour:
While being reviewed,
He has reviewed me.

Every religious calendar has an annual review:
A moment of introspection,
The divine as silent employer,
The penitent under assessment.

And yet,
Do we not review, as well,
The sacred center of our yearning?

We are all employed
In the service of
Something Great.
It's very possible
That we all know our
At least as well
As our Employer
Us . . .

(For Karen)

Mr. Gobley

1 comment:

karen said...

Thank you so much.