Back in a long ago summer I was working on a remodeling project in the suburbs of the Sicilian town of Marsala, a stunningly beautiful place where Garabaldi’s ‘mille’ made their first landing: the beginning of the work-still-in-progress known as Italian Unification.
Contrary to the myth one hears in Northern Italy, I saw southern Italian’s working hard from six in the morning until four in the afternoon with not much of a break. I recall, after lunch, laying down on the cool tile floor before launching into the next part of the project…and this poem about the often unsung pleasures of manual labour:
Caulk it all up to experience…
I’ve had enough silicone under my nails
To make a fertility goddess of a Hollywood starlette
(or at least to make five clean breasts of it).
You’d think I’d have the bank account
Of a Brazilian plastic surgeon by now…
Folks don’t pay the big bucks
To have their tiles enhanced.
Will I list this work on my table of discontents?
It could be a Tuesday.
I could be anchored to an anonymous desk
In some downtown gratte-ciel looking out a window that isn’t there
Blinking against no sunlight, thinking:
“Out, out brief candle.”
then, looking down at the shame of clean and idle hands:
“If only I had enough silicone under my nails
To make a fertility goddess of a Hollywood starlette…”
To read more of the back story click HERE.