Bonus Cut Poetry: “At the Water Cooler” By Abby Conklin


This is Bonus Cut Poetry, a series that features original poems by Bonus Cut staff, artists and YOU! In this series, our mission is to bring people together in poetry, share stories and display wonderful artistic pieces. If you would like to have your poems in the next Bonus Cut Poetry installment, just email us at

This installment features Bonus Cut’s own Abby Conklin.

At the Water Cooler
By: Abby Conklin

I do not know what kind
of jokes you make about
the people you work
with.  Maybe their anxiety.
Maybe one OCD gum-chewer’s
jaws, or the leaver-of-stained-
coffee-mugs’ trail through the break
room.  There’s a lot to be said
for the things that make us human.
Which is likely why
my coworkers and I stood
at the edge of the indoor
track today, at our students’
summer olympics, cracking
jokes about the rattling nature
of the starting gun.
These kids don’t run
this kind of race when they hear
that shit! we laughed.  They run
as fast as they can from 
wherever it came from!  Jokes
that aren’t jokes when you’ve heard
your coworker wish for a house
in Connecticut.  Talked about a window
looking out at her sons playing
in a back yard, instead of pounding down
her auto-locked front door, trying
to get away from playground gunshots.


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