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  • John M. Campbell

Call Her Ishmael

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

I wrote this poem for Angela, our project business manager, as she was leaving our project for a new opportunity. The Peter mentioned in the story was her associate who shared her office. I make fun of her language outbursts, but they were nothing I wouldn't conjure inside my head about my own work on certain occasions. She was a joy to work with.

Call Her Ishmael

The time has come in her career

For Angela to leave.

At times like these we feel so deep

The tendency’s to grieve.

Instead let us in cheerful mood

Raise up a glass in toast,

To celebrate the times we’ve had,

As I begin the roast!

She seems like such a normal girl,

So bubbly and petite,

But when its invoice time of month

She’s something less than sweet.

From somewhere deep behind the piles

Of paper on her desk,

The keyboard clacks incessantly,

The language gets grotesque.

One wonders how a voice so sweet,

So like a nightingale,

Could suddenly emit the sounds

Of words one hears in jail.

It’s “bleeping” this and “kiss my” that --

The words that leave her lips!

They burn the flesh of Peter’s ears,

And choke him as he sips.

She must have been, in some past life,

A crewman on a whaler,

Because the language that she speaks

Comes only from a sailor.

It certainly is hard to think

So elegant a dame

As she in evening gown appears

Could be so damn profane.

Now, me, I’ve never heard her use

Such words as you describe,

But I have heard that after work

She’s been known to imbibe.

Perhaps that whaler story’s true,

Because I know this chick:

If there’s a fish she can’t outdrink

It must be Moby Dick!

Fond best wishes and good luck,

John M. Campbell, 2004

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