Ann Gibson : Team Talk

Free drinks in hand,
they sit agog, waiting
to be encouraged, inspired.

He struts the stage,
a skimming smile
that doesn’t reach his eyes,

shirt sleeves folded not rolled,
soapy and smooth,
boss with gloss.

“Look! Listen!” he barks,
staring down at tables, not faces,
forehead frowned in feigned sincerity.

Hackles rise,
expectations plummet.
They switch to decode mode.

“…flexibility... adaptability…
transparency
is key…”

They can see
straight
through him.

Words wash over them
with a whiff
of déjà moo.

Draining the dregs
of their meagre bribes,
they leave the hall

in dribs and drabs,
inwardly
slow hand clapping.