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Today, on this day, when I took, with pay, the day off


In honor of May Day a poem

"Today" by Carol Tarlen

Today I slept until the sun eased
under my eyelashes. The office phone
ran and rang. No one answered. ..
I sat in the bistro and sipped absinthe
while Cesar Vallejo strolled past,
his dignity betrayed by the hole
in his pants, and I waved, today

and the dictaphone did not dictate
and the files remained empty
and the boss's coffee cup remained empty
while the ghosts of my ancestors
occupied by chair and threatened all
who disturbed their slumber

today, when I sat in bed, nibbling
croissants and reading the New Yorker
in San Francisco, and I did not make
my daughter's lunch, I did not pay
the PG&E bill, I did not empty the garbage
on my way out the door to catch the bus to
ride the elevator to sat at my desk on time
because today I took the day off

And rain drenched the skins of lepers
and they were healed.
Red flags decorated the doorways
of senior centers, and everyone
received their social
security checks on time.
and I walked the streets at 10
in the morning, praised the sun
in its holiness, led a revolution,
painted my toenails purple,
mediated in solitude,
today, on this day, when I took,
with pay, the day off.