I shuffle through the day white knuckled,
Bearing my arms crossed to hide my punch ready hands;
With every introduction I lose more feeling in my fingers.
I smile- a wide eyed, open mouthed friendly grin-
You’re glad to see me you’re glad I’m here you think I’m competent
I can’t breathe. I smile wider in an effort to find more oxygen.
I am wanted here, my reputation precedes me, I’ve got stairs to climb
When I wrench my arms open into a stiff hug they’re shaking.
Anxiety is not reserved for those situations which seem obviously dangerous.
Here, I risk five years of growth four years of education three references who believed in me
And those two supervisors who may have talked about me over dinner. So I hold
Myself close, watch like a hunter in a dark dense forest, keep my back against the wall,
Count the seconds until I get to sit in my own cubicle. Anxiety
Brings new meaning to the phrase “corporate jungle”, brings new handicaps to the conference room,
Gives me nightmares about becoming a client again, of being discussed in concerned tones
At a meeting I’m not allowed to attend.
It’s just Monday, full of yawns, slow traffic, evaporating memories of sleeping in on the weekend.
It’s Monday, I barely slept, I laid out my clothes for the week, I left the house too soon,
I impressed my boss by showing up early. He doesn’t know I’m following a script, acting the part
Of calm and capable; that I wish the weekend would stretch out and cover me until I find my place here,
That I can relate to the first client of the day, who tells us she quit because her job moved too fast.