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Every man who works with his hands
Has seen that look. Maybe we showed up
To patch the roof, service the furnace,
Or unclog the sewer, and the pasty
Bank manager expounds his idiotic theory
Of what should be done. His wife
With her $200 haircut points her
Manicured finger at the wet place
On the ceiling. We do the work
And stand there, not knowing what to do
With our hands as she makes out the check
Complaining of the cost. As we explain
What was involved, she looks at us
As if we were just released from prison,
Correct in her questions, rude
In her attitude. Her husband brags
How he could’ve done the work
But doesn’t have time these days
Busy with clients, blah blah blah.
They despise us because they depend on us.
How long will they survive in the coming collapse
Of their roofs, their pink bathrooms
Filling with shit, their Wedgwood china
Traded for scraps of food.
After they’ve burned the last stick
Of furniture in the fireplace
They’ll flee their useless homes,
Beg to join us beside the fire,
Greedily devour our rabbit meat,
The bowl of weeds our wives gathered,
Admire our hairy large-knuckled hands,
And tremble as we howl with the dogs at the moon.
Copyright 2019 Michael Simms
Thank you, Michael. There are a lot of folks I plan to send this poem to.
LikeLiked by 2 people
LikeLiked by 1 person
My carpenter-husband and I both appreciate this poem. Thank you, Michael, and you too, Nicholas!
Very nice. Angry yet with hidden compassion and visible, well deserved pride. The accompanying photograph, while often overused and even sometimes mundane, glorified and honored the poem in this case. Thanks, Michael.
Thanks, Mel. The poem is dedicated to my son who’s a carpenter. He said he loves the poem.
Thank you for this poem. Al likes it a lot. Will be sending to friend Brian.
Thanks, Daniela. The poem is dedicated to my son Nicholas who is a carpenter with a successful contracting business. He has a college degree in business, but likes the hands-on work of renovation. He and I have had a number of conversations about the fact that craftsmen are not respected in America.
dang good poem!
Thanks, Jason. In the post-apocalyptic world, poets and carpenters will rule.
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