The Recidivist

Queueing at the broad front desk
of Welfare’s downtown office,
I brace myself for
the bureaucrats’ strip search.
I am unemployed – again !

These front desk people read my forms,
bring my name up on their screen.
They mutter “No no, this one will
have to go to the supervisor.
She’s been to us before.”

Social Welfare still speak sternly
over twenty years.
Their elderly code number follows me
to show a marked recidivist.
Over sixty
unemployed
irrelevant
out of date
like mouldy cheese.
A disrespectable old age !

The Recidivist