Office at Night

Rowan Ferguson

An ocean liner with an atrium, this
glass and marble hulk run aground
against paving stones, empties
conveyancers and secretaries first,
then lads who've stayed behind to frank the mail,
some late shift typists. Mournful cleaners
hoovering hole punch confetti, dead staples,
remember weddings, funerals in other places.
The last of the previously desk-bound drift away
to bars, late shopping, children, TV, sleep.
Lifts sink to rest at G, the man
on the security desk is already at the helm.

Rowan lived in the North East as a child and eventually returned in 1998. She started writing poetry in 2003 and has had poems published in The New Writer and Envoi. She often struggles to find time to write in the face of a demanding day job though sometimes there is the opportunity to bring the two together, as in this poem.

She explains: "Approaching the office one morning, it struck me how like a ship it looked. Once I'd had the initial thought, the analogies just kept on coming - enough material for several poems really. I wanted to set this poem at night as there's always something a bit mysterious about the place as it empties out."

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Office at Night © 2010, Rowan Ferguson: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.