This is a sequel to Graduating Backwards, written a year or so later.
|She was right to fear business.
She seized the school,
still bleeding where they cut the ivy
from her desperate grip.
She sees only backward,
dyslexic from the eyes inward,
burning to scramble back
to learn and live.
She was wrong to take the diploma.
She sees the sentence now as death,
should’ve shredded it then
while the ink was black and new.
She lies trapped in the timeclock,
punches it senseless
but it is the champion,
grinning and quick.
She wheezes to breathe, smokes to die,
driving blinded to work alone
in the mass on a treadmill
trimmed with dollar signs.
She shakes and sits and runs and sells,
laughing and ticking with her watch,
Ready to go.
One day she’s gone for good,
traveled too far back, too far forward,
not far enough in any direction.
Walking in place, she knows to close her eyes, laden with time
and worthless vision,
and finally sleep.