A Year of Poems – Day 129

I’ve never been one for plumbing.
There’s something about wet places
that remain wet even when you want them to be dry,
growing who knows what while the air lies stagnates like water.
Even pipes with clean outside lines,
sharp in their smoothness, I view them as Pharisees.
For I know well what has travelled through their thoughts
for it has traveled through me,
and for all I can guess much of it has remained in the pipes,
knotted in a thin filmy ball of hair and everything else
that clogs the inner-workings of a home.

I had a friend once who was a plumber.
He came and in a short time
sorted out my clogged mess of pipes.
it is an old house with its fair share of maintenance issues.
Though I say we were friends,
at the time I barely knew him.
I avoided the area where he worked,
for the smell of many stagnant years
outweighed my “friendship” with him.
when I did peek in to make sure he was getting on
with the work that needed getting on with,
he was up to his elbows in water
plumbing the depths of my water heater.
Later I looked in his hands were covered
to the wrist with black tar.
I guessed it was for joining pipes,
but I wasn’t sure and didn’t want to ask.
He left, and at first out of a sense of obligation,
I remained friends with him.

It has been many years,
and I now call him friend
without quotation marks.
The thing about friendship
is you pick up little things
you never bargained on.
Lately I’ve thought about plumbing.

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