Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Continuing No Shame Poetry Series Presents "There's Always a Diagram"

There’s Always a Diagram

That’s what my daughter and her friend say
As they talk about their co-workers
Who drive them crazy.

Friend: “It doesn’t matter what he’s talking about
He always draws the same diagram

It’s a bell curve and it illustrates everything
According to him,
Infant mortality rates or shopping patterns of
New mothers”
And she draws a bell curve on a scrap
Of paper.

At the table, we look at the bell curve as if
We have never seen one before
And nod sagely, yes, that is irritating and odd
But I’m thinking, it does apply to those situations.

Daughter: “My guy always draws a circle
And then puts little dots inside it. He says things like
‘Here’s the target population’ and draws a circle
And then peppers it with little dots,
‘And here are our inreach efforts,’ ”
And she quickly draws a circle
And jabs her pen into the paper a number of times.

As I study both diagrams, daughter and friend lapse into
A kind of disgusted silent contemplation of their lot
While I realize the coworkers they are fed up with
Are guys my age only a little obsessed with their ideas
And unsure just how to communicate them.
And so the old guys draw the same diagrams
To illustrate everything
Time after time

But looking at the two diagrams
I like them both and
I can’t decide between them.

--Dan Verner

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