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Poetry #531
(published March 24, 2011)
Ten Tradesmen
by Ian C Smith
The Electrician
his rubbish, and prompt account

The Mechanic
speaking his own language
secrets revealed at the end.

The Plumber
leering comments about spas
his hard tool flung in temper.

The Painter
talkative drip addicted
to blue jokes and black coffee.

The Chimney-sweep
posh accent on busy mobile
giving the brush-off.

The Computer technician
so helpful
deleting my confidence.

The Odd-job man
with scorched—earth policy
chainsaw grafted at the wrist.

The Concreter
smooth operator
not all he was cracked up to be.

The Builder
suffered erection problems
blueprints as hieroglyphics.

The Tree surgeon
no sap out on a limb
his fee bigger than our tree.

Ian C Smith's work has appeared in The Best Australian Poetry, Descant, Heat, Magma, The Malahat Review, &, Meanjin. His latest book is Memory Like Hunger, and his next book, Lost Language of the Heart, both by Ginninderra (Adelaide). He lives with his wife and their four sons in Victoria, Australia.

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