Linda Wojtowick



So it occurred to him that he could

use a hammer for the job, which previously

he did not consider.

He had lots of fancy tools in the shed

and he felt stubborn about them.

But since his divorce he longed to become

familiar once again with the objects around him.

It is in deep humiliation, he thought,

that a man discovers his resources, his reserve.


The work was difficult and time went slowly.

He felt his shoulders struggling with the angle.

Pieces of the wall fell about his feet.

By the time the vague smells of dinner

filled the block his hands burned.

He had a bright red cough.

And he could not stop the nave thought

that with all his average comforts he could not use

the simplest thing.


The day was waning. New shadows

plucked at his eyes. He felt humbled, afraid.

But then his neighbors might save him, revive him

with their kind thoughts. Like sun dogs

they bellied into his fantasy,

bright casseroles of distraction, arms pushing

through his bent screens: Why he is no stranger,

no sadder than I am.

Copyright 2003 Linda Wojtowick.  All Rights Reserved.

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