On leaving


by Richard Barrett


forewarned, act surprised, bought for that

the card, half an hour ago when heard

a meeting or announcement soon, in all likelihood

applications finally paid off it’d seem, but

keep it to yourself, let him break the news

I’m shocked, I know, never thought he’d get it together

sufficiently to go, congratulations though

of course, have to be pleased for him, sad as well

but, anyway…good afternoon, can I take

your National Insurance number please?

HEO position, Oldham, Middleton area

just informed, couldn’t be more shocked

maybe a month, you’ll be taking us to the pub?!

oh aye! Look, he’s going red! How happy is he?!

understandable – getting out of here! seriously

: well done, yeah – nice one…


…you okay? I think I might cry, I mean

my first boss, never before had a job, knew

nothing about rules of work or the office, he

taught me all that stuff, end of an era,

exactly! I agree! didn’t want to say as much

for fear of…appearing sad? yeah, don’t be so

soft – we’ll all be thinking that

except her, maybe but, who’d want to be her?

doesn’t care

about anyone – except herself, need to go home

I’ll email you, wondering how to admit


my love


Richard Barrett lives and works in Salford, enjoys the music of The Fall, and yesterday bought a biography of the writer Patrick Hamilton; what he’s read of it so far has been ‘quite good’.

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