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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)

TITLE: Executive Decision
By Kenn Allan


In the skyscraper castle
Of Friske & McMold,
Where mommies are bartered
And daddies are sold,
Worked a man quite devoted
To home and career ...
The sign on his desk
Proclaimed "Henry J. Fleer."

Now Henry was timid—
A nice family man
With a kid still in diapers
And wife named Joanne.
Each lunchtime he'd loosen
The necktie he wore
And read verse from a Bible
Kept tucked in a drawer.

One noon as he settled
To study and ponder,
His boss through the hallways
Just happened to wander.
He paused to watch Henry
A moment or two,
Then off to the penthouse
In anger he flew.

When lunchtime was over
Not two minutes passed
Before Henry was summoned
By intercom blast.
"I have a few words
For that Henry J. Fleer!
Find him at once
And send him up here!"

That bellowing magnate
was Cyrus McMold,
Who lived five floors up
In an office of gold.
His own elevator
Slid open its door
To whisk anxious Henry
Up to the top floor!

With mild trepidation
Poor Henry approached,
While he thought to determine
Whose turf he'd encroached.
He couldn't imagine
What perchance might unfold
Once he entered the office
Of Cyrus McMold.

"Come in," rumbled Cyrus
When Henry arrived.
He offered his hand
And a smile quite contrived.
"I'd like to discuss
Your activities here
And how they may damage
Your budding career.

"I noticed today
As I peeked in your door
That you study a Bible
You keep in a drawer.
I'll put this directly
So you'll understand—
Cease and desist ...
And THAT'S a command!"

Henry was dumbstruck
A moment or two,
So he carefully studied
The tip of one shoe.
He fumbled three buttons
And straightened his tie
Before daring to stammer
A single word: "W-Why?"

"Come now, good fellow,"
Blurt Cyrus, aghast,
"If the Bible was followed
How long could we last?
Business is business
And must be conducted
With methods quite different
Than those God constructed.

"Think of your colleagues—
They’d all lose their jobs!
Without their fat paychecks
They’d soon live like slobs!
Reflect on your future
And set yourself free ...
Throw down that Bible
And think more like me!”

Henry considered
What Cyrus had said
With a lump in his heart
And an ache in his head,
When he noticed a girl
In an old tarnished frame.
"Oh, you have a daughter?
Please, tell me her name."

"Drucilla," sighed Cyrus,
"Drucilla McMold,
That picture was taken
At seven years old.
It's rather outdated,
She's older, of course,
But we haven't kept touch
Since my messy divorce.

"Her mom turned religious
Clear out of the blue,
She studied her Bible
And prayed, just like you.
We soon tore asunder
For reasons, I'm told—
Because God was not welcome
At Friske & McMold."

"I'm sorry to hear
Of your loss," Henry said,
"In the same situation
I'd sooner be dead
Because this may sound harsh
And a teensy bit cold,
But you traded your family
For Friske & McMold."

Cyrus most clearly
Was taken aback—
His eyes opened wide
And his jawbone went slack
As he studied the man
Growing strong at his door.
"Come sit down," he invited,
"And do tell me more."

As Henry sank deep
In a leatherish chair
He asked God for His guidance
In silence of prayer.
The words next delivered
Must grab and take hold
Of the faith buried deeply
In Cyrus McMold.

"Of course it's important
For us to provide—
Our work is fulfillment
I'd never deride.
But heartbreak begins
When priorities roam
And ambition replaces
Our real life at home.

"When God is gold-plated
Our wives become spouses,
Our kids mere deductions,
Our homes only houses,
Our natural passion
For family grows cold ...
Chilled in the hallways
Of Friske & McMold."

When Henry was done
Cyrus started to cry.
He took out a hankie
And dabbed at his eye
Saying "With those few words
You have summed up my life—
I blamed God for the loss
Of my daughter and wife,
But alas, it was me
Who chased all three away ... "
Then he whispered to Henry,
"Is it too late to pray?"

And from that day forward,
The story's been told
Of the day God was welcomed
To Friske & McMold.

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This article has been read 1622 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 08/03/06
LOL - I clicked on this title because I just had a feeling it would be a particular someone's entry. Dare I say you're getting predictable" Nah. :-)
What can I say except, clear another space on your mantle. Oh - and please...flub a few lines next week and give the rest of us a chance, will you? LOL. Superb, as always.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/04/06
Perhaps he'll be a Judge one week so the rest of you guys in Masters can have a chance...lol; great piece of work! Fantastic story in rhyme. That's it in a nutshell - what else can one say?
Kimberly Mitchell08/04/06
Now who could this amazing poem belong to? :)
Venice Kichura08/04/06
Excellent poem with a much needed message.
Melanie Kerr 08/04/06
How is it dear brother
That time after time
You tell such great stories
Through verses and rhyme?
Jan Ackerson 08/07/06
Could it be...four in a row? This is marvelous, Kenn.
Rita Garcia08/07/06
I dare say you keep raising the bar higher and higher! Fantastic!!
Helen Paynter08/07/06
Excellent, Kenn. 'A leatherish chair' - LOL
Joanne Sher 08/07/06
As I read through this, I was trying to pick out a favorite stanza - but I love them ALL. I know you've been told this over and over, but you have SUCH a gift from God. All I can do is thank you for sharing it with us, and using it for His glory! (and I love McMold as a last name - just THAT is an excellent word picture!)
Allison Egley 08/07/06
Great job. I clicked your link in the "hinging" thread without looking at the name. Then I went back to make sure I had guessed who wrote it. I'm glad the ending was much happier than the one I first predicted, for I feared poor Fleer would soon be evicted!
T. F. Chezum08/07/06
Not to be repetitious, but great job.
Venice Kichura08/07/06
Looks like another winner to me, Kenn! Excellent as usual...You are really anointed to write poetry and I know God uses you in your gift!
Brenda Craig08/07/06
Fantastic as ususal. Wonderful poem. Echo all the other comments. Loved this!
Teri Wilson08/08/06
How in the world do you do it? Simply amazing.
Shari Armstrong 08/09/06
Another great piece - I think the streak continues.
Sally Hanan08/10/06
Can't say any more than everyone else has ... other than the usual plea to hurry up and get your book published.
Helen Paynter08/10/06
Congratulations, Kenn. Another well-deserved win.
Rita Garcia08/10/06
Congratulations, never had a doubt you would once again conquer the number one spot!
James Clem 08/10/06
A strong candidate for BOB 2007!
PF Davids08/10/06
Excellent work. How, oh how, does one critique a master?

If there were anything I might change om this wonderful piece, it would be to add one more stanza before the invitation to sit down. It struck me as I read it that the boss "folded" a little too quickly.

Edy T Johnson 08/10/06
Congratulations, Kenn! Now we just have to research how one goes about nominating you for Poet Laureate of the USA. Then the entire country can enjoy your poetry the way we all do!
Monique Fox11/13/06
Please come and post your poetry at Poetry and Poets of God: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/poetryandpoetsofgod/