Paranoid Palinode

A poem by Tanya Manning-Yarde


Maybe bosses don’t smell like brimstone, really.

Perhaps they too dread the resurrection each sunrise,

Stepping out of comfortable slippers,

Stepping into formal formaldehyde shower,

Tolerate cold commode, twitching,

Balance standing on thorns,

Endure renewed face

Made of war paint that daily singes new skin

From the constant rubbing on, rubbing off, rubbing in.

A face that blossoms its drying out.

In shower-steamed mirror rehearse tactics,

Rouging cheek and purse lips,

Coffer beautiful face

Bruise by bruise.

Concealer is not feeble shroud.

It has taken time to practice

This ancient art of war,

The soft shuffle like geisha, wooing bigger boss

That is both its client and captor.

The unthreatening deference

Offered in downcast glance.

Dress of pink slips ironed crisp,

Shimmer, resolve in guised tears,

Confetti reigning,

Cutting breasts shooting through glass shattered ceiling.

Puppetry underscores the battlefield,

The surrender of spine

To align with bottom line. Who does this by choice?

Tanya Manning-Yarde, Ph.D, is a freelance writer, educator and Mom. She is currently copy editor and contributing writer for Bronze Magazine. She is a freelance blogger for the annual Montclair Film Festival and maintains a personal blog of writings across both genres and topics. Prior to pursuing a career as a writer, she was an educator, having worked as a high school English/Language Arts teacher, Assistant Professor at City College (City University of New York), Instructional Coach for Diploma Plus, and as a contracted consultant for Ramapo for Children, Classroom Inc., and Teaching Matters. Find her online here.

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