Sitting in Ellen's office, I find
remnants of her pre-retirement days.
A pair of tortoiseshell reading glasses
tucked askew at the back of a drawer.
Did she think she wouldn't need them?
Or did she have so many
they are like sticks of chewing gum
used and thrown away.
I am a pale imitation - a shadow
sitting behind her desk
looking out the dusty window,
watching clouds and foggy trees.
I look down the endless hallway
and listen to the slap of the staples,
the aluminum ping of a microwave,
the "Firework" ring of a cell phone.
I take a chair out so it
won't feel so crowded.
But in reality, the ghosts of those
who sat here before me
keep the office full.