Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Lending a Hand"

This poem came out of the March 6, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from wyld_dandelyon and sponsored by Anthony and Shirley Barrette.  You can read more about the Monster House series on the Serial Poetry page.


Lending a Hand


The man who came to mend the roof
was gentle with the house.
My daughter and I stood the yard that afternoon,
listening to the steady beat of the hammer.
I kept a sharp eye on the house
but it never stirred, leaving him to his work.

He was nearly done when my daughter remarked,
"The temperature is dropping."
"Yes, the sun is going down," I said.
Then I realized the potential problem
of having a handyman on the roof after sunset.

"You can call it a day now,"
I hollered up to him.
"I'm almost done," he yelled back.
"No sense charging you for another trip tomorrow."

Just then the gargoyles awoke,
flapping and hissing to find a stranger so close.
One of the hatchlings flopped itself out of the nest
and began to plummet.

Without hesitating the roofer lunged to catch it,
scooping the chick out of the air with one huge hand,
the other scrabbling at the roof.
I ran to move the ladder underneath him,
then steadied it while he recovered his position.
He put the hatchling back into its nest.
Then he put the last few shingles in place
and climbed down.

"Must be nice having your own nest of raptors,"
the handyman said.
"They keep the pigeons down," I agreed.
Then he collected his check, and drove away.

"Does he have a destiny as a hero, or what?"
I asked my daughter as I
struggled to slow my galloping heart.
"No," she said quietly,
"he just does that on his own."

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, writing
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