Friday, June 10, 2005


I want to paint your soffets.
And I know where they are, too.
Way up there under your eaves.
I want to get on that ladder
And not get off it
Til your soffets are sticky-coated
With layer after layer
Of oozing white (outdoor enamel.)
Am I a romantic or what?

I want to lay it on thick.
I want to extend that ladder
To its full extension.
I want to climb your walls,
All two and a half stories,
Tickling them as I go
With the dripping white-laden brush
Until they gleam and glow
In the Maytime sun and wind.

And after soffets and after walls,
My mind runs to your gutters.
I want to clear them
So they can flush and flow
And carry the stagnant waters
Away from your foundation.
Then I need to sump-pump your basement
So it can be airy and warm
And habitable, a refuge for players
Of ping pong, billiards, gin rummy,
And even spoons!

I want to mow your grass.
I want to haul your trash.
I want to root in your garden
And pick it clean of weeds.
I want to clear out all your brush
And be a scourge to the poison ivy
That bit you with its irritating bite.
I want to plant a screen of trees
Where the neighbors might look at you,
Bikinied on your deck by the pool.
I want to paint your toenails red!

I want to pave your drive
And smooth out all its ruts.
I want to get on your roof
And stride the horizon with my shirt off
(Just incidentally getting a great tan)
Battening down stray shingles,
Vigilant that not one drop
Should leak upon your head.
I want to drive you to the store
And carry your groceries.
I want to fetch your paper from the mailbox.

I want to be handy.
But mainly near to hand.

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