All Badge Wearers

Yesterday, a man walked toward me.
He hurried along the busy street,
Wind tossing his name badge high across his chest.

Passing me, he smiled distantly,
Absorbed in his brief escape from the office.

In recognition, I reached for my own lanyard.
To straighten my ID.
To introduce myself as fellow employee,
Keeping step with work’s agenda.

But my identification was missing,
Retired now to a bureau drawer.
And with it those quick strides taking me forward
To team meetings and project proposals,
Accomplishments recognized by all badge wearers.

Who am I now, adrift at noon, without my name badge for anchor.

—Kathleen Serley, Wausau, WI