The Life of a Dispatcher


No matter the exigency, the work goes on.

This job, demanding nothing less,

Continues to be executed supremely well

By the competent and the truly great, alike.

Ours is a kaleidoscopic focus;

We hear a hundred, fractured voices

Simultaneously talk, yell, or gasp

Through the raspy static of a radio wave.

We excel at sifting sense from it all,

Envisioning with a third, penetrating eye.


A cloistered life this is, sans a spoken oath or vow.

Whether it is over suddenly, or concludes at last,

None of us falls in the field heroically, tragically,

Dare I say it, like our betters.

Nonetheless, we are soldiers too,

Some of us grown old.  We simply fade away,

Exiled from sight, sometimes out of our minds,

Unremembered by the young.  Worse still,

After years of talking cryptically in code, of life,

Of death, we fall silent, with nothing more to say.


At our blessed best, upon the demise

Of one of our own we come together,

The work being staffed by a skeleton crew.

We realize anew what we knew full well:

Here was a compatriot of proven worth.

But each of us is so much more, are we not?

Perhaps, worshiping dawn,

Barefoot and elated, we splash the shine

Of a secluded shore, until we sit

In peace at twilight, staring out to sea.


We prize and husband our privacy.  It is a respite

From the callers who hector us mercilessly,

Sick with the trouble of their turbulent lives.

Ever in our ear we hear a keening voice, so clear

And near.  God, come now, take pity on them, on us.

Surely, He bids us take come comfort in our choice.

We choose to listen in on the world’s woe

And offer it succor.

So chose the worthy before us;

Inspired, the young will aspire to be us.


When all memory of our existence is extinguished,

The work continues

Here, Everywhere, Forever.


Steven Golden

July 17th – 20th, 2016













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