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