Sunday, February 12, 2017

Contractors

First Things had a poem that resonated with me.  It might with you, too.

Prop Tools

My friend the carpenter (no, not that one) 
Told me about a trick some workmen use.
They leave some tools around if they’re not done—
Nothing that they can’t afford to lose—

As if they’ve gone for coffee or a snack,
Or an emergency—a roof with leaks.
They want to keep us thinking, “They’ll be back,”
Despite the fact that days stretch into weeks.

But even if they do this to deceive,
They do it. They need us to think that they’re 
Decent, the kind of men who wouldn’t leave. 
That Skilsaw on the ground shows wear and tear,
A lot like faith. We need it. So do they.
A promise to believe in anyway.

—Midge Goldberg
The first time was 45 years ago!  We were having a new roof installed. Hubby had to leave and he was waiting and waiting for the roofer to finish.  Finally, he couldn't wait any longer.  The roofer only had about a foot wide length across the roof to do.  Hubby told the roofer he had to leave and paid him.
         When hubby came back, the roofer was gone, but he left a large pail with goo, a stack of shingles, and a spreading tool, on the roof.  Who would do that?  Why did he do that?  Surely, he'll come back and finish the job.
         We waited a year!!!  We telephoned and left messages, with no response.  We asked around; the man had disappeared!
         I won't belabor the point, but the first time wasn't the last time.  As Midge Goldberg says, we need to believe.  We always have hope.  We never lose faith.

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