Sitting and typing, flying across keys,
Listing little things; Name, Spouse, Occupation;
Filling blanks to create an entry.
The turn of digits in intricate dance,
Pouring data into screen after screen
Every bit correct, to the last number.
Some claim this job makes the heart number;
Doors in the soul close with keys
Lost in that pallid, glowing screen
That stands at the center of the occupation,
Stealing us from the eternal dance
Til we can't even mourn its careless entry.
And the heartless work of making entry
Erodes us by inches. So, we number
The hours and minutes until we can dance
To the artful whims of some tables and keys
Flickering with life as the sole occupation
Of musicians listed on a miniature screen.
What kind of filter can we use to screen
Heartlessness and tedium from its entry
Into the grind of our daily occupation,
When all of our work is reduced to number
And letter and the clatter of keys
Where only our fingers are allowed to dance?( Read more... )
One of the benefits of writing sonnets, lately, is that I've gotten braver on tackling what are, to me, much more difficult forms. This is the first sestina I've written since college. I'm not sure if the heteronym was clever, or just a cheap trick, but I'm happy with the message of the poem. I work in the Escrow department of a mortgage servicing company, and we're often reminded that the numbers aren't just numbers: these are people's homes and livelihoods.