Thursday, May 7, 2015

SUPER DAVE & URBAN RENEWAL (poem)

My real estate agent shakes my hand --
not the one holding a new set of keys,
but the empty one hanging by my side
waiting to be filled with paint roller,
sander, scrub brush, & waxer.

“Don’t worry.
Super Dave can help.”

she leaves his number in large letters
on a gas company envelope.

On the phone, his voice is light,
his prices right, a cheerful volunteer
to plumb, paint, electrify the walls,
do all the little things a new home needs.
The old ghosts lie flat & white
on the walls, watching me, laughing
at my solitude. Middle aged woman in
big, empty space employs helpmate.
(Shouldn’t there be a man? The old song
says one is so nice to have around.)

When he arrives, his eyes come first,
blue set in wreathes of laugh lines
in a hardy, young, face. His hair is blond,
thick & lank like a schoolboy crop,
begging to be rumpled. Wide shoulders,
tapered waist, jeans tight enough to tell
any story you’d care to write made
my fingers itch for a pen. Who is this
giddy woman, leading a workman
from room to room?

Surely this bath can be redone - everything
here has to go. Take down a wall or two,
& the energy will flow -- better,
won’t it, Dave? Nods & smiles
& notes, before he has to leave -- to
find the screens, purchase lights,
plan the room, buy the rings,
get the license, ride the big, white
horse right into my living room.

As he pauses at the door,
his hand reaches to shake mine,
I see the glint of gold, oh god,
second finger, other hand, just
before he slips out of sight
taking the stairs in twos,
running like a rabbit for its life.

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