They shuffled, adjusted their cuffs nervously,
whispered unfunny anecdotes. All the previous
gatherings seemed to stretch out behind
in a never ending procession, as in
the Sunday morning confessional,
where empty gestures give salve to the soul.
As the front door was flung wide open they roared,
wild beasts waking in a cage.
The fortunate waved turquoise shaded tokens
as they rushed towards a large box wrapped in gaudy pink,
tied tight with yellow ribbon links. The word was spoken.
Out leapt Madame, strong as a lion, muscled as a bull.
Her pecs glowed in fluorescent light, shining
from chandeliers, to where the faint hearted repaired
even though they knew there was nowhere to hide,
for not one corner would she neglect.
All were whipped soundly, thrashed to within
an inch of their lives, those with tokens got it twice.
In a trice she had gone, and not even the senior execs
had enough strength to drag themselves to the lectern
and wearily announce
”Same place, same time, next year.”