Free verse: RIF’d (please comment)

RIF = Reduction in Force. This refers to layoffs, downsizing, rightsizing and similar. If you’ve gone through it, or if you have had to organize it, please comment on my poem. It’s a work in progress, and I’d love your feedback.


I sit in this tree
in a hierarchy
where the branches branch
and end with the end
of those who fall from my life
like so many dying leaves.

They land in a litter
of costs cut by consolidation
and a column sorted
by descending salary.

This thinning
leaves me with a clear
view of the top.
Tempted to climb for a closer look
I hesitate for fear
that next fall I may earn
a felling of my own.

About oodajunkie's words distract

Don’t bother me – I’m busy cultivating my Tortured Genius persona.
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4 Responses to Free verse: RIF’d (please comment)

  1. Denney Benedict says:

    Hello Melanie – I like this poem. The overall look and feel to it has a negative connotation and is full of dread which I do not necessarily mind. I feel that it could be more powerful if you add some contrast. What would happen if; after you talk about ‘end’ follow it by ‘new beginnings’, after you talk about ‘death’ follow it by ‘life’, after you talk about ugly (litter) talk about ‘beauty’, after you talk about ‘loss’ talk about ‘opportunity’, after you talk about ‘risks’ talk about ‘rewards’. Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing about poetry but enjoyed this exercise.


    • oodajunkie says:

      Hi, Denney,
      Thanks for the feedback. I actually tried the new beginnings approach, but I found that I was torturing the metaphor, if you will (fertilizer, new growth, etc.). So I kept it short and negative. And that’s how I felt when I wrote it. I’m glad it was “dreadful” 🙂
      Thanks, again!


  2. mmwelch says:

    Great to see your writing again (now that I’ve finally found it)! Short and negative works well for this.


    • oodajunkie says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Michelle! It’s good to be in contact again. I started writing again after I started working on a master’s degree in Org Leadership. It’s all online and nothing but writing, writing, writing. It’s all very academic, though, so I started writing poetry to balance it out.

      Liked by 1 person

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