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If I Had 3 Free Hours Every Week, Just For Me... I'd Write Poetry

Terri was dumbfounded.  Literally.  Words failed her. 

She showed up for work - the graveyard shift - just as she had for the past eight years.  Terri hung her coat in the locker and put her lunch in the breakroom refrigerator.  Yawning, she made her way down the dingy hall to the mailroom where old Annie would be gathering her things and getting ready to go home. 

It had been a rough week.  The new postal sorting machine had been delivered on the first of the month, and the mailroom was a beehive of activity for the three days it took them to put it together and get it up and running.  It was amazing to watch, but everyone knew that jobs were on the line.  Annie had confided to Terri that she didn't want to be the first to learn to run the machine, but the company had a rule about seniority, and Annie certainly had that!  She had been working the mailroom longer than anyone could remember.

"Annie?" Terri called.  "Annie, are you okay?"  "Annie! Oh, no..."

             Annie Grift

It put her in her grave, it did,
This drive to automate;
It never should have come to this,
But that's the hand of fate.

She haunts the mailroom yet. I know!
I work the graveyard shift,
And often in the wee small hours
l'll hear old Annie Grift.

I hear her walking up and down
The halls, when no one's there
And belts fly off the new machine.
It's Annie Grift. I swear!

She died right yonder, sitting up,
Her eyes, a flinty green
Still staring, sightless
At her nemesis--that damn machine.

The new machine's not difficult;
The job's not hard to do.
But Annie harbored deep mistrust
Of everything that's new.

You see, she never was the sort
To handle change with grace;
She hated it, you understand,
And now she haunts this place.

Just little stuff. Not scary-like,
But still, I'd like to know
Why can't she rest, like others do;
Why can't she just let go?

I prob'ly shouldn't oughta said
That stuff about new tricks,
And older dogs--you know the line.
She's getting in her licks.

Or maybe it's that she's come 'round
And now she want's to learn.
Yeah. Right. And l'm a millionaire,
With lots of cash to burn.

Well, l just settle in at night
And work the graveyard shift.
I sort the mail when it comes in,
And talk to Annie Grift.

copyright, Michael Jones

If I had the luxurious gift of three extra hours every week, just for me, I'd spend them writing poetry.

I'm thankful for having been raised in a family where reading was valued--where literacy was considered a gift of the highest worth.  You see, I was raised as a teenager in the jungles of Suriname, South America, with a tribe of Indians who were the first generation of their people to have the gift of written language.

"This post is a submission to the DocuSign/ActiveRain Thankful Contest. It's possible I will win a prize for writing this post. You could win a prize too by going to the Contest Announcement and sharing your own story"


I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Arizona Mortgage Lender

NMLS #223495

SUNSTREET MORTGAGE LLC ~ Correspondent Mortgage Bank
Offices in Mesa, Tucson, Sierra Vista & Nogales

Comment balloon 17 commentsMike Jones • November 09 2011 06:07AM


Mike: Keep writing poetry. I think you have a gift.

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) about 9 years ago


Thanks for the encouragement!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 9 years ago

Mike, Good luck . You can get three extra hours a week if you just decide to wake up half an hour early each day . I have done so this week because of setting my clock on Sunday I am still used to wake up according to the old time.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 9 years ago

You can write many places. Like underwater in the shower each day. On the road without losing too much concentration. You can find three hours easily if you replace something that is idle time and not productive.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 9 years ago


Very nice. Sounds like you were influenced by Robert Service, who BTW, penned some of my favorite poems!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 9 years ago

Mike, keep writing...........it was compelling to the end

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton, Mass 02356 (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) about 9 years ago


Your three hours were well spent, thanks for sharing the poem.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 9 years ago

Mike, you have so many different interests, I find it really great! And you are good at them as well! Keep on writing!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 9 years ago

HI Mike,


I was just about to give up on my POETS Group here at AR when I found your poem!! It brought a huge smile to my face...just like your photos do..THX from your lyrical friend in Asheville...

Posted by ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com ( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK ) about 9 years ago

I have to admit... I was hoping you'd take photographs, but I liked the poem too.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 9 years ago

GOOD MORNING MIKE!  Now this is original - writing is a lost art and more people need to practice it!

Posted by Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind, Broker/Owner (KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Mike, Find the time.  If you don't have three hours ust ten minutes at a time.  Write more and post it to us, when you have enough for a book, publish  it.  Loved it!

Posted by Marge Piwowarski, Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC (Phoenix AZ Horse Property) about 9 years ago

Mike, congratulations. You are a winner! You have a natural gift of writing poerty.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 9 years ago

Did you win???  you could get one of those voice recorders... carry with you and when you have an idea or a few lines, speak it into the recorder.  

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) almost 9 years ago


Yes, I did win.  (5,000 points, I think...)  I haven't written poetry for awhile, but it never goes away. Thanks for the encouragement.


Ditto my comment to Doreen!


I appreciate you!


Surprise!  :)


I'll get back into the photos soon.


Now there's a reason to keep it up!


I think I will.


It's always good to see you.


I'm glad you liked it; thanks for stopping by.


Love Robert Service!




Look at that!  It's 4:45 in the a.m. and I'm up blogging again!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 9 years ago

I hope you find those extra three hours so I will have another opportunity to enjoy reading.

Posted by Teral McDowell (Referral Patners LLC) almost 9 years ago


I'm working on it!  I've got another one I'll send you; check your mailbox on Saturday.

Mike in Tucson


Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 9 years ago

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