Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009

The Dogsbody

by Caroline Grundy

Like a swan floating calm,
serene above the surface,
I'm paddling like mad below.
Making sure the workflow flows.
Making sure that everyone knows -
passing silently from person to person
the news and views and detail
that makes things come together.
Holding strings and grasping straws;
spanning seas, leaping mires;
stoking fires and keeping-dogs-from-doors.
I take each ‘could you?' or ‘would you?'
with a willing, winning smile.
Each task, performed with precision,
is factored-in and broken down,
underscored and pulled around.
Nothing is a problem -
just a solution to be found!
So when I do it well,
nothing seeming wrong,
I stand tall and proud and strong,
happy to do my job
to the best of my ability,
despite invisibility.
But come end of day,
when they've all departed
(their wisdom now imparted)
to celebrate completion of another job-well-done -
that was so much fun! -
I'm left, picking up papers,
sweeping up crumbs;
paying the bills and doing the sums that
Great Minds Shouldn't Have To Think About.
And I have to admit I'm not a swan at all.
I'm just a general dogsbody -
neither strong nor tall,
but with pride in my calling.
No longer inspired
nor fired with enthusiasm;
just really, really tired.


Added: 30.04.2009