Wattree on Mandela: Homeward Bound
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
Ramona On Martin Bashir
There is a predatory notice
in the limbic eyes of an auction-goer:
Strike now! Take a chance with the drill-press-thing---
or is it a riveter or veneer slicer---
the attached shop light alone is worth the price.
The auction boss sets the stage---
smashed up pipe clamps, dried-glue glaze on them,
---get the juices flowing, appetizers---
you can buy these cheaper at Sears,
doesn't matter, it's an auction,
and pull up those Levi's before you trip,
or a fork lift mashes your instep.
Like a stand-up comic in a cheap beer joint,
the Auctioneer is an Enforcer:
"Buddy, you wanna set the bid,
then come on up here in front. No?
Then let's start the bid again.
Do I hear thirty dollars for them pipe clamps?"
A little higher on the food chain,
I scoop up a solid machine which has a stomach ache
from eating a sanding belt and a saw blade.
As I cut a small vintage table saw from the herd,
The dignity of the previous owner flashes at me from
well oiled steel surfaces honed to perfection;
I feel like I have taken advantage, even given the spoils of war---
like the football game at OCS in Newport---
when I pushed the player's face into the mud,
after I had him down.
Lugging the prize saw to my car
I stopped by Fred's Food Wagon
for the only bargain within a hundred feet---
a 50 cent combo of donut and coffee---
and spied a note duct taped to the handle:
"Sammy, your Grand Dad wanted you to have this.
I don't have a lot of money right now,
So I'm sending it freight collect to your office."