Japanese Office
They liked her foreignness,
her little knit apricot dress,
her thirty-something-ness.
Somewhere near St. Paul’s,
on the 34th floor,
she was P.A. for the M.D.
She liked the abbreviation
better than secretary. And
she could speak Japanese.
Summoned to the kitchen
she made green tea,
strong as urine. For the execs
who ran around London,
getting sexed. Then
there was The Turd —
little man, bulging eyes,
fat fingers.
He called her to his desk.
Had her photocopy
stuff he never read.
Made her carry
a Xmas Tree to the balcony.
In the service lift.
She designed company
Xmas cards. Only forgot
to send them to Japan.
He shouted across desks.
Had her place the morning papers
in a line — wasted her time.
At lunch, she’d run —
Millennium Bridge to the Tate.
He and she didn’t translate.
He put her on probation.
She hadn’t got the swing
of the Japanese work rhythm.
She tendered resignation.

Alex Corrin-Tachibana

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  
Alex Corrin-Tachibana  would be pleased to hear them.