We have come to need
with ever-littler hammers
to fix things –
to climb through the keyhole
when your car won’t start
and shine a flashlight
on the computer inside.
Sometimes a bolt is loose
or a screw,
and he has a mini-
tool for that.
I’ve met these men.
One used to work for
Lucky Charms, a
cush job, but
as luck would have it,
he got downsized.
They roam like cats in the night
In no need of another meal
but with eyes to see
and time on their hands.
They are restless and satisfied.
And not three, but one,
for each is inclined
to think he’s the other
You were the first Dutchman I ever knew
and now I live among your kind, your
fishers and swallowers, ripping up
what they’ve built, running water where
they drained it forty years before,
legal and illegal-
izing their drugs, and letting
the masses in, though not really.
When I was ten I’d have told you,
there treading water in our mud hole,
that I knew a better way –
USA! USA! –
which won the big one
when the chips were down
but even then, clothed and correct,
I’d have had to concede,
amid blown-out lives
(neighborhoods, brains, gutters…)
that maybe the promised promise
wasn’t always delivered.
So where does that leave us
(Are you dead?)
now I’m in your country
and you’re in mine?
How bout we split the difference?
You grant me my mountain-prairie-
and I you your genius architecture
and painter sky.
Each can keep the people he’s with.
(They’re about the same.)
You’ll not find me, though,
swimming in no hole.
And those cuckoo clocks you keep for yourself.
I make a tent with my hands
and bow before the fire within.
I put my forehead to the dust.
Smoke rises through the eye of God
and a tear forms, a lens on the eye.