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My Working Conditions
By Maire Rock

Soft light, nothing harsh, nothing dark 

A slight shiver, but not goosebumps 

A cup of something hot, always in a mug 

A thumping beat, with meaningful words, but not ones you have to think about 

And don’t forget the paper—always paper—and a pen with black ink 

Now it is time to sit down 


An itch in the back of your brain, right at the base of your skull 

A twitch in your index finger 

The vision in your head that can only be expressed in words 

That clouds all your thoughts 

Crying out to be released 


Look to the words you have 

How they stack the walls 

Know what brings you into them 

What grabs your heart and twists and pulls 

Draw from the world around you 

Turn what pushed you 

Into words on a page 


To see the path 

But not the destination 

To know that there is an answer 

if you only take the first step 

To understand that your words have potential 

that can help you understand yourself, what you have to say

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