By Alan Berecka

To you, O sycophants and brownnosers,
you know-it-all kibitzers, you goody-
two-shoed darlings of our supervisors,
you puritanical drones shackled by guilt
to your self-flagellating ethos, and all you
other irritants who have chaffed me raw
in every workplace I have inhabited,
I say to you, nay I plead with you,
Relax! And as you draw deep breaths
that might calm your sterile ambitions,
I implore you to examine the co-workers
you have for so long looked down on
over your stained schnozzes, the lowly
members of my reviled tribe: the slackers.
Observe and learn from us, for we’ve unlocked
the secret of capitalism’s contented laborer:
a simple and untaught rule of economics,
for one’s efforts to be valued the most, one must
do the least possible to remain employed.
Any effort of yours above this threshold
is wasted and given freely to the organization
that existed just fine before you got there
and will replace you in a nanosecond
without a second thought once you kick
the bucket from being over-worked on the job.

Alan Berecka resides in Sinton, Texas. He earns his keep as a librarian at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. His work has appeared in such places as American Literary Review, Texas Review and The Christian Century. He has authored three chapbooks, and four full collections. In 2017, he was named the first poet laureate of Corpus Christi, and served in the post until 2019.

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