In Retrospect

it wasn’t the hours, nor breakfasts
I ate in the car; not the meetings,
though I was often frayed by the end;

it wasn’t the staff, who were mostly
funny or clever or kind, nor the nights
I rewrote mad reports in my dreams;

not the emails demanding responses
nor the man who complained that
I’d spoken to him instead of emailing,

not even the chaos of funding cuts
and constant policy shifts, politicians
I tried to persuade or cajole, the fact

that I failed; what I couldn’t handle
was the curb biting into my tongue.

Sharon Phillips

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Sharon Phillips would be pleased to hear them.