To The Cleaner


I rest my head back and open wide
noting the fly carcass in the light overhead.
You say “A little more this way.”
Compliant, I tilt my head in your direction

For more than thirty years we’ve done this,
keeping our appointed meetings.
Me gaping awkwardly, while your metal tools
scrape away six months of chemistry.

I know to ask for you by your first name,
but that’s all I know about you.
Well, I know you are methodical, polite,
and usually gentle (or apologetic).

I hear your stomach rumble
close by my right ear.
This has happened many times, I recall.
I suspect a diet is always in progress.

Did you have a bad night?
Has your cat run away?
Is your child out of the house yet?
Was your mother still upset about the nursing home?

You’re not a talker, and neither am I,
so maybe only the first question applies,
but I won’t even ask that one, this time.
See you again in six months.


© 2008 Michael Yanega









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