Judith Hansen - A poet with a background in theatre Judith has worked as an actress in Los Angeles and New York. Her poems have been published in Gooch!, Writing for our Lives, and the poetry anthology, Songs on the Wind, published by the National Library of Poetry for which her poem, "Laura's Husband", was given the Editor's Choice Award. Her play, "The Voice Lesson", was a finalist under consideration for Ensemble Studio Theatre's One-Act Festival 2001. She lives in Red Beach, New Zealand with her husband, Phil, and their pup, McManus. To contact Judith directly click https://florafox.com/ru/bratsk-85


"It's a Secretary's Life"

by Judith Hansen


Dailey Drain is a secretary in New Zealand

her phone is tracked
by the 'phone police' and

if she answers all her calls
by the second ring for a month
she gets a chocolate bickie for Friday morning tea

Dailey is the First Aid Deputy on level 15
she knows the Heimlich and how to tie a sling

the First Aid Kit is located on her desk
over which hangs a clearly marked sign: 'First Aid Kit Kept Here'
(Dailey is not the floor fire warden)

Odetta Hood is a towering woman for whom Dailey types

Odetta wears a long black coat and high heels
and when she walks briskly down the hall her
coat traps the breeze like a bloated vampire bat

pockets of secretarial gossip colonies are found
in groups of 2 and 3 on every floor of the firm
(if they were terrorists they would be called 'terrorist cells')
level 15 is particularly infested

Phillipa ('Pip') Blackwood is Dailey's supervisor

Pip is large and beautiful (she admits to both)
and hangs glamorous photos of herself
on the walls of her office

she emails pictures of naked men
splayed on white sheets to select
members of the secretarial staff

Pip gives Dailey her own personal life update
about which they share a laugh and afterwards

Pip is pleased she's communicated successfully
with yet another member of the support staff


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