'He's just a kid', I thought.
Still wet behind the ears.
The patience that he brought,
a man of so few years,
was rather puny and surprising.
It made me feel a juvenile,
who's felt a bitter taste arising,
of indignation, here called bile.
He sat behind the counter, cocky,
two near-ripe pimples graced his face.
A handsome lad, short like a jockey,
a hint of orthodontic brace.
A mother's son, her pride and joy,
and in a job that gave him power.
It had been weeks when, as a boy
he would have counted every hour
until the school bell closed the day.
I felt confused and not too flash,
thus tried politeness..'if I may..',
it always beats a rather rash
and condescending altercation.
Yet, this young man, he had not read
the rulebook of our glorious nation,
perused the comic book instead.
He said that I was not to talk,
not to disturb his precious work.
And, if impatient, I could walk,
perhaps there was another clerk
who would be more accommodating
to Fuddy-Duddies who were slow,
who mumbled, grossly salivating,
asked many questions, just to know
the answers to irrelevance.
This was a Pension Office, dammit,
and not a place to square and dance.
If he could call the shots he'd ram it
into their skulls, so well-demented.
And, after all, he was quite busy,
'perhaps a letter, if you sent it? '
It was the point where I felt dizzy.
Adrenalin, oh why come now?
My face hot-flushed, I stood up tall,
instead of calmly asking how
I would decode these rules and all,
I grabbed his polka-dotted tie
and pulled him right across the barrier.
And as I had him by the scruff,
I said 'Young man, the more the merrier!
I really do not give a stuff
about your life or who you are,
but you will not if I can keep
you acting like a little Czar,
you are, at best, an angry creep.
But not with me, or help me God,
I'll teach you what your Mom forgot.
Just say the word, give me the nod! '
He hung, a ragdoll from my fist,
his face the colour of cream cheese,
when a deep voice said 'I insist
you let him down, and then you freeze! '
And from the corner of my eye
I noticed two mean-looking goons,
I tried a smile, a friendly 'Hi',
had no response from stern-faced Hoons.
A door had opened to my right,
a tallish, well-dressed man with presence
swept forward like a Sydney tide,
and said 'We've had it with you peasants.
This is a place to mind your P's,
likewise your Q's, and be polite,
and if you have the urge to sneeze
do so at home, not on this site.
You are an oldster now, so know it,
it's we who pay your daily fare,
you'd best behave here, lest you blow it,
believe you me, I could not care
about your problems and your pension.
So, go on home and sleep it off.
When you come back you'll get attention,
but for today, we've had enough.'
I tried to speak but now they gagged me,
four human beings,3 to one.
And then they cuffed and briskly dragged me
into the parking lot, the sun.
The supervisor's late advice
was, 'we are young, we call the shots.
If you respect us, treat us nice...
we may just help - no if's or but's. '