Her Day (poem)
Will you do something?
Uncontexted, the question compels, does it?
The writer had been hired to complete a story
Not so fast, though. The publisher prefers she prove herself
She reviews the half-done coattail she might ride to fame
Maisie Day, reformed sex-worker turned private agent
Encounters her usual difficulty with one of her exes
The client not significant to the world, a rich man behind the scenes
But thanks to ideology and funding schemes
Appointed to a post. Naturally, vetted. But the party’s
reputation firm is thorough and aggressive
Emails she ignores, texts arrive alerts switched off
Maisie, wisely enough, accepts no surrogate
The man, villain or victim, undecided
the poor dead author’s notes inform the writer
Is called Janeway. Janeway finally crosses her courtyard
and she watches him on the security feed
Her secretary, a former teacher, a bodybuilder
of six-foot seven, described as massively strong, buzzes
“A Mr. Janeway. He says he knows you. Insists
you’ll let him in.”
“Well, fair is fair. Join us, though.”
The two men perch on furniture. Janeway, skittish, says
“You weren’t like the others. You’ve always had class.”
“It’s useless to butter me up. Although,” she quips,
“What you got up to with the ‘others’ I’d hate to ask…
Aren’t, in fact, they your problem?”
But Janeway answers: “I must be safe.”
“I doubt you are,” says the secretary. “Heed. Maisie requires a deposit.
And her hourly fee is two-fifty, plus expenses.”
“Is detecting so lucrative?” Janeway sounds a touch bitter.
“Buying silence is. So costly, I ought to say.”
“But you will…? Take me on, I mean. Find out if anything’s
bubbling in the background. Find out who cares…”
He clears his throat. “Who cares whether I’m destroyed, or left alone.”
“Darling Janeway, I would happily see you destroyed.”
But Maisie is mostly joking.
(2021, Stephanie Foster)