2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

Another Monday, eh? For some, Mondays equate to “back to the office” day.

For today’s prompt, write an office poem. Maybe this is related to your work, but maybe this is a poem at a dentist’s office, doctor’s office, bank office, office in a car factory, or some other type of office.


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Here’s my attempt at an Office Poem:


three walls and a landline
should be enough
to keep this coffee warm
as an associate un-jams
the printer again


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer works from home, and his office doubles as the study/library of the house. It triples as the place where he sings off-key karaoke with his kids. It quadruples as the area that is often invaded by toys and arts & crafts created by his kids. It’s clean sometimes and sometimes very not clean.

Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he gets to do a million things to help writers find more success with their writing (including this blog). He’s also the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53).

Connect with him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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296 thoughts on “2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

  1. PKP

    paper gowns and terror

    they sit in paper gowns
    looking at cells phones
    or magazines – one
    closes her eyes
    three or four women
    waiting in paper
    gowns to be called
    to glory or surrender

  2. deborahbgkelly

    My Office

    My office is nowhere and everywhere at the same time
    I have one in my home
    And a separate space for art
    But, I don’t go out to a traditional office
    So, when I stray from the home base
    There’s never one place
    My office is nowhere and everywhere at the same time

  3. Thedeb

    My Office
    By Debbie Cerrito

    is where
    I can choose
    to be a writer,
    maybe a singing troglodyte.

    I’m safe here in my sweet machine.
    Its sexy voice coos,
    come to me.
    You can

  4. Michelle Hed


    The sounds of typewriters
    fingernails and heels
    made the office sound like
    a well-oiled machine.

    The sound softer
    as fingers hit the keyboard,
    the random sound of fingernails
    an afterthought
    and flip-flops and loafers
    more often heard or not heard
    then the click of heels.

    A murmur of what used to be
    but still a smoothly operating machine.

  5. Yolee

    April 2016

    Mike fumbled his speech like a football overturned
    to the opposing team. He told Susan that the cancer
    spread to your good eye. That sky-blue left eye
    You died on Sunday.
    Just like that?
    I worked your proposals and campaigns. I looked at you with admiration
    when with your right glass eye you committed to business as usual. Over
    coffee and chicken sandwiches you talked about how you’re a mush when
    you volunteer at the animal shelter. You were proud of bike riding along
    the 10 mile nature trail. You retired early, and made friends with the scenery
    at Lake Tahoe. I have the email you sent 2 weeks ago. I responded and
    asked how you were doing these days.
    You never replied.
    I abhor goodbyes but I hate exits without a wave
    of the hand where the ether gives kinship a ride
    to higher ground.
    I grope for my black sweater.
    The air-conditioning in the office
    must have caught a cold.

  6. simplymarian

    It’s Monday
    They are already there
    expecting to see me
    get a hug
    remind them to
    stop slamming the locker
    hands to yourself
    hurry up
    slow down

    But I’m playing hookey
    hiking on mountain trails
    holding your hand
    sharing an orange
    pretending we’re retired.

  7. Friend

    Another hospital visit–
    They are taking a picture of his neck
    (his dr said he had the worst spine
    she’d ever seen.)
    So they’ve patched him back together twice
    with titanium and dead men’s bones–so far
    he’s beaten the odds and stayed out of a wheelchair
    and functioning but
    he’s 5 inches shorter than he was–is there
    anything in his neck
    left to fix?

  8. Anvanya


    A few years ago I lay back in the
    Comfy articulated couch at the dentist and
    After gazing out the floor to ceiling
    Side window for a time – during which
    I speculated on the variety of palm tree
    Flourishing on the neighboring Property –
    And prepared to enjoy counting the
    Holes in the ceiling tile.

    What else are you gonna’ do while waiting
    For the plastic in your mouth to set?

    Taking a deep breath and hoping that
    I was not really drooling,
    My eyes beheld a volcano in full
    Spate. Uh…

    Ash ascending heavenward, lahars
    Plummeting earthward. This is supposed
    To put me at my ease in the torture
    Cell? What happened to the Monarch
    Butterfly in the x-ray room? The blue
    Seas and warm breeze in the technician’s
    Room? To say nothing of the Roman
    Ruins in the main office???

    A volcano? Really?

  9. Sharon


    My desk is a mess,
    but I don’t care,
    my brain is a drain
    full of holes here and there.
    Bordered and ordered
    this office of mine?
    No way, Jose,
    yet my work is sublime.

  10. Jane Shlensky

    Playing catch-up today. Crazy days. Robert, I’m loving the bios. So fun.

    Officially Speaking

    Bad behavior is made official
    in the Office. “Sent to the Office!”
    the only time articles made sense
    in grammar–not “an” office,
    but “the”—principal’s seat
    of punishment and bad news.

    Only once during our elementary
    training did a kid receive
    good news, a writing prize,
    from that location. He was
    terrified. All other
    or parent encounters was
    for unveiling shame
    of the most official sort—
    hookie, fisticuffs, bad language,
    theft, and sassing teachers.

    But once Principal Matthews
    called me in to ask how my Mama
    was doing. She had been ill, sure,
    but he failed to realize the power
    of place—the Office—and
    that kind of thing can really
    mess with a child’s mind.

  11. mariahewilson

    As a Poet…

    my office is the shade under

    the willow, or the head-dent

    in my pillow, it’s the plaza,

    the mall, the quiet street,

    the deck chair, the hammock,

    the people I meet. It’s between

    raindrops and sunbeams

    it’s carried in the wind.

    It’s the mountaintop, the bus stop,

    the backseat of a car. It’s the space

    between graphite and pulp.

  12. Ency Peterson


    They get there early
    receive little to no appreciation
    these bastions of the office
    Constantly present

    They mop and vacuum
    water the plants
    stock supplies and even
    clean the toilets

    They dust and polish
    every room
    They have an office
    and closets are numerous

    They don’t get recognition
    though they keep those offices going
    For how could the workers get by
    without coffee, tea, or seeing the sky

    So if you work in an office
    Remember the ones
    that work behind the scenes
    your maintenance staff

  13. seamuscorleone


    I’ve got a stack of essays to grade
    And a pile of quizzes to score.
    I need to plan out what we’re going to read next.

    My whiteboard is getting dirty, I should wipe that down.
    And my bookshelf is not nearly alphabetical enough.
    I wonder if any of my posters could be straighter?

    If I put tape on the floor I can mark precisely where each desk should go.
    Speaking of desks, I should wipe them all down with soap and water.
    This being flu season you can’t be too careful.

    Let’s see… once all that’s done, maybe I can take out the recycling
    And pay my bills, while I’m here.
    And these windows could use a good wiping…

    I’m running out of things to do around here,
    And soon I’ll have to head home to my empty house,
    Where all I’ll have left to do is to think about you.

  14. Asha1000

    Power Saving Mode

    stretch your legs pencil straight
    arch back, unkink spiral-bound spine

    drink a glass of water
    hydrate cells and kidneys

    seek out a window view
    soak up sunshine and refocus

    close eyes, de-cloud your mind
    watch a video through third eye

    crochet paper-clip daisy-chain
    screensave smoking brain from meltdown

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  15. Lindy™

    Conscientious Resistance

    Some say
    I am wasting my vote
    I’m a poet
    read into what I wrote
    See, I am withholding
    my ballot
    in peaceful protest
    boycotting the American swill
    if you will
    the best of the best

    It is my vote
    after all
    and only I decide
    where it falls
    My right to vote includes
    my right to abstain
    even if it’s all in vain

    The lesser of two evils
    is an offensive proposition
    If you want me to cast
    show me someone
    with a position
    I can vote for
    rather than against

  16. ely the eel

    A Routine Day at the Triolet Office

    If you’re not angry with me,
    would you please tell your face.
    I’d feel safer then, you see.
    If you’re not angry with me,
    it’d suit me to a T,
    and at least I’d know my place.
    If you’re not angry with me,
    would you please tell your face.

  17. PSC in CT


    Her heart’s set on a change.
    She’s already looking
    forward to a new office –
    planning to exchange
    these concrete corridors,
    cubicle walls and re-circulated air
    for some dirt trails, towering
    trees, and clean breezes.

    She’s fully prepared
    to transform from fluorescent
    lights into filtered sunshine,
    and she’s hoping to
    trade in her alarm clock,
    to abide by a time keeper
    of a more
    celestial nature.

    She’s even amenable to heeding
    the morning announcements –
    (but only if they’re
    pronounced by peepers),
    and hearkening
    to some office scuttlebutt –
    (so long as it’s bantered about
    by a babbling brook.)

    She’s currently of a mind
    to swap out her conference calls
    for bird calls –
    (shouted, sung, flung
    to the four winds) and
    she’s likewise inclined
    to barter her glass ceiling
    for a wide, diamond-strung sky.

  18. drwasy

    Monday Afternoon on the 12th Floor

    We work in a maze of halls
    with no cheese at their ends,
    in rooms where air pumps in
    from an unknown source.
    On the twelfth floor
    sun bullies in the east side
    our rooms warm for naps
    & drowsing the internet.
    After lunch, we gaze out
    windows with bellies full
    & watch the hustlers sell
    their boosted wares, the kids
    run on the playground, &
    wish we could smell the bread
    from the corner bakery.

  19. lionmother

    A Human Office

    There is an election this year
    to elect someone to fill the
    office of President
    Why do they call it an office?
    does the President have windows
    or cubicles or a boss to tell him/her
    what to do?
    is it because the President has an office?
    an office most would dream to have
    can you imagine every day walking into
    a room appointed especially for you
    with the prerogative to shut the door
    on all who are on the opposite side?
    What is is like to hold the office of President?
    our current President’s hair has turned almost
    white in only eight years from the strain of this
    office pressing on him
    why does anyone want to take this office
    maybe they feel they will do a better job than
    the one who came before them
    it’s as if Sisyphus created a job where he could
    push his ball of dung up the hill while sitting in
    a really posh surrounding and having people wait
    on him hand and foot — yet that ball needs pushing
    and he must do it himself — others can try but
    it is his job and he must persist in this fruitless attempt
    so we change the pushers every four or eight years
    but that ball still is their major job and it is a dirty
    little secret that this is the President’s job
    So welcome to the Oval Office to the next elected President
    and get ready to start pushing.
    copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

  20. pcm

    Closing up Shop

    another day at the office
    draws to a close
    smiles fade with fatigue

    sighs, squeaks, squeals
    as characters from my pen
    scamper to their hidey-holes

    they sheath sabers, shed boots
    hang ostrich plumed cavalier hats
    docile and still by tabards and cloaks

    Molieresque dialogs
    with stage directions flutter
    to the floor where

    my feet wriggle out
    of their slippers

  21. briehuling

    Day 18

    bodega slow motion kitty

    I hope there is enough time
    and syllables here to exaggerate:
    the squirrels are dozing
    in their holes
    and the body is not keeping
    score for once– fear
    is the cheapest room in the house
    when you share Amazon Prime
    with your Dad, when Magnums,
    Brain Octane and Hitachi haunt
    your shopping cart– the only way
    out is an awkward interaction with the regular
    bodega gal down the street.
    Where did anonymity go?
    The late-twenties daydream
    Utopia Bodegatarian hopscotching
    down a Louisiana street with
    averybestfriend, your clothes
    smelling like crawfish
    and a bathing suit underneath
    just in case? Everyone knows
    the memory works like a cape
    and if you ask for mayonnaise
    they’ll always slather on too much–
    can’t you just hold me here, tight
    like a half pound pastrami sandwich?

    Brie Huling

  22. Domino

    17. The Star

    Safe Haven

    New job, new day,
    bad start, you don’t say?
    Late to work, what to do?
    Smile, hope you’re not through.

    Hello! Welcome!
    Come and meet
    the people here
    are really neat.

    Your desk is ready,
    feeling steady,
    Relax into the work.
    No one been a jerk.

    Coffee? Yes, me too.
    Let me show what’s going on.
    So impressed with what you do.
    You’ll understand before too long.

    Day done, time to go.
    Nice people, good to know.
    Good office, good day.
    Glad to be here, glad to stay.


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