The Office

I noticed something yesterday,
A bruise just below your brow.
As I looked you turned away,
Before I questioned how.

It was only two weeks before
I’d seen your swollen lip
You talked about a cold sore
Then dismissed it with a quip.

At work decorum promotes a distance
Allowing space for our privacy.
We hide bits of our existence
Behind walls of secrecy.

Should I have been more probing?
Should I have questioned more?
Maybe it was part of me hoping
You had nothing to cover for.

Tomorrow when our workday starts
Will I notice an empty space?
In a world filled with graphs and charts
What’s missing is a human face.

-Clarence Holm