Maintenance Mechanic

in memory of Slim

Channel-locks repose in his callused hand
like a baby in its mother’s skirted lap;
his other hand welds to a coffee cup
filled with the sweet mud mechanics demand.
I ask about his wife; I understand
she’s in remission now. He sighs; he sips.
It seems to hit his belly with a plop.
“Yeah,” he says, “I ain’t got nothin’ planned.”

What do I envy? His country music? Flat-
top and twang? His many wives? Or his tools?
He’s everything I never thought to be.
I scan his leather face for clues. We chat
about “bootlickers ‘n’ fools.” Forget our souls.
And his sick wife. And bright eternity.

:: Patric Pepper, Temporary Apprehensions (2005)

No comments:

Post a Comment