Tuesday, February 26, 2013

365 Jobs: Handyman Sketches: Ladder Work

Don't Blame Me, I'm Just Here to Fix the Garbage Disposal: Part Eleven

Ladder Work: One
Mrs. Robert T. Bunn

The proper lady, powdered,
introduces herself as
"Mrs. Robert T. Bunn"
so already it's going to be weird. 
Eighteen feet up a ladder I unscrew
a floodlight when, how freaky,
it simply
I almost fall.
Glass shreds my arm
like I fought with a tomcat
in midair.
Blood trickles down chin and neck.
"Oh dear.
What have you done?"
says Mrs. Robert T. Bunn.

Ladder Work: Two
Sunnyvale, California

Climb a ladder to inspect
the roof and suddenly
above dreck and sprawl
here’s a crisp
clear day
in Autumn…
Surrounded by sunlight.
Cooled by sea air.
Thank you, warm star.
Much obliged, San Francisco Bay.
A ridge of golden mountain casts
long shadows
over busy rolling beads
of bullshit traffic.
I feel blessed…

Note: Among my contracting jobs, for many years I've served as the on-call handyman for a group of townhouse-style apartments — or rental units — or whatever one should call an enclosed square of two-story dwellings in a subdivision of Sunnyvale, California.  It's steady money.  As a minor league writer, I need that.
I tried to summarize the experience in prose, but verse seems to work best.  Most of the events took place in the 1980s though a few are more recent.  This is Part Eleven of a series.

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