trade-ie wars

you’re wrong about that

I am not it was …

you are


two old men are arguing
they are both old tradies
one a plumber
the other an electrician

one is obstinate

the other

they have fallen into reminiscence


the end pipe was covered over

you’re wrong
it was buried
in the dirt


the subject
is a hot water heater
they had occasion to work on

the debate
whether a pressure relief valve
had caused the heater
to balloon out at both ends
putting life and limb at risk

et cetera

they are tradies and therefore
their work was always
of earth shattering


I can remember

the pipe had been covered over
by the owner
with some …

it was actually nose down
in the dirt
that’s why it couldn’t …


they have each grown louder
without actually yelling
trying to express
the loudest opinion

as though it mattered

worthy of war


three of us
are seated at the table
in silence

one by one
we all roll our eyes
as we catch each others gaze

one leans across to ask

when did this
water heater

another smirks

about forty years ago

they haven’t worked together

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #13: a fisher of storms

2 thoughts on “trade-ie wars

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