He's sick with some terminal disease
but still the office keeps calling.

His blood slows, brain falters,
and his cells devour their neighbors.

But a report must be completed,
an in-file needs outing,

dotted lines cry out for signatures,
a spreadsheet hasn't balanced in months.

In a cubicle far from the sickbed,
huddle his unknown well-wishers:

a half-done product assessment,
a rash of unseen memos,

an unapproved sales form,
columns of numbers that refuse to agree.

The cancer claims him, his friends and
family weep, he's buried.

But he doesn't die
until they hire his replacement.