Seat on the board


I told my admirer that men are abundant.
I told him explicitly he was redundant.
I gave him the sack
but he simply came back
and expected a seat on the board.

I asked if he fancied an early retirement.
He said, I believe it’s a basic requirement.
He took me to bed
and seductively said,
I’m expecting a seat on the board.’

He’s easy to hire, he’s harder to fire.
I can’t afford him but still I adore him.
Should I give him a seat on the board?

He blithely agreed that I ought to retrain him
but soon I discovered I couldn’t restrain him.
He entered a bid
for my heart and my id
including a seat on the board.

I had to acknowledge the man had ambition.
I tried to remove him by subtle promotion.
He wanted a share
and it seemed only fair
to give him a seat on the board.

I’ve met many shyer but none I admire.
I’m quick to demote and I’m slow to promote
but I gave him a seat on the board…
I gave him a seat on the board.

– – – – – –

Rachel McAlpine

Survival kit


Being alive involves
a certain quantity of losing,
maybe six per cent.

Ships planes and
hospital beds, letters
from head office and
blunders all contribute.

The soul travelling
looks for a cloud
and even in the sea
dehydration is
the greatest danger.

The wise provide
for such emergencies.

Knowing a friend may leave
at any time they hoard food
and water, especially water,
and bandage up the heart in advance.

This way they can afford to cry.
Which is right and proper
and the heart does not leak
and they say Yes, yes
I am saved, I have not shrivelled.

Good, good we all understand—
except for how and why at times
a person cries
from the opposite of losing,
from a kind of overflow.


Rachel McAlpine