lost on a sidewalk next to the road.
He paddled away in the nearby pond
and I washed my hands, patted my back.
I've only seen the man once
in the last two years
and even that was an accident.
He's more of an acquaintance
than a friend, but he's got enough
charisma for the both of us
so I like him
and I'll bail him out of this jam.
Only a plumber
can truly relate
to the martyrs of this world;
the cheaters of fate.
"Have you been punching walls?"
I ask as soon as I notice
the gouges in his knuckles.
The routine's familiar from formative years.
"Any domestic disputes as of late?"
I had to throw that jab.
I had to.
"Nope," he replies with a gleam I misread.
"My father's dying. I'll find him in a puddle soon."
One of us changed the subject
though I don't remember who or how.
Everything went dull in sound
like a dive made too deep
at the neighborhood pool as a kid.
Another man would have decked me
and I would have deserved that bruise
but everyone needs a trustworthy plumber.
If that turtle could talk
he'd say he was fine