The Janitor

There was a meeting to be had
In a big, white room
Where cloths of color and banners huge
Covered up the blankness of the walls
And tables long under lights flourescent
I was paid to arrange
And to sweep under
Before the people came.
And come they did
In suits and coats
Dark against the white
And they sat at the tables I had swept under
And muttered amongst themselves
Until one of them, a lady
Stood up and walked to the podium at the front
And made Announcements
And Declarations
And she and some others gave out Medals
Awards, and Trophies
To some other people I also did not recognize
For discovering cures for diseases
For researching the innards of humans
And sometimes animals
For finding out what makes things tick
And sometimes for inventing things to make our lives
Easier, richer, or fuller
And sometimes all three maybe
After which the people made Speeches
And the woman who had spoken first Talked
About the Achivements of Science
The Phenomenon of Technology
The Unlimited Potential of Mankind
And other Very Important Words.
The room full of people clapped for a
Long, long time
Until they all stood up
Scraping their chairs against the floor
I had helped polish yesterday
And some of them stood around chatting
And laughing with each other in small groups
And then they were gone
With their shiny trophies and
Glittering medals
Except
Except for one
She stood there as I stood there
Wearing a coat of grey
She held a trophy of gold
Which softly shone under the harsh lights
Which she had gotten for looking
At the inside of some particle
And she put it down on a table behind her
And she looked at me and said:
"Do you need some help cleaning up?"

At that moment I knew
Which of them all shone brightest.

~~~

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