My father is losing sleep
A man who, all his life, pursued
the plumb straightness of his lines
is watching, without capacity to change,
the ups and downs and wavering
of lesser work
performed in his domain
and he doesn’t sleep well.
My father is calling helpers in
He can’t shift the bricks and pavers
to lay them down in harmony.
His strength has left him overnight
or perhaps, crept away
in these last few, flying years.
Growing old is also growing anger
at the need to call for assistance
from incompetents and fools.
My father is holding on to pride
by forcing sundry artisans and labourers
to re-lay bricks and pavers
into the honest, straight lines
of plumb-bob and spirit-level
that a man may watch all day
with the satisfaction of a lifetime
spent pursuing small perfections
and building pride.
© Frank Prem