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There are blisters

all over my left hand

The old lady needed help landscaping

and she said she’d pay pretty good

So I showed up

without gloves

not knowing what she was going to have me do

I was helping her redo a path

at a home

she owned

in a private neighborhood

in this rich-ass town


from a tree

were raising the steps

and the brick boundaries

of the little gravel path

that went from the front yard

to the back

She had two shovels

and an ax

for me to work with

She assumed I’d bring gloves

It turned out,

the roots underneath the path

were huge

and I needed the ax

She said she had an extra pair of gloves for me

but she didn’t think they would fit

I told her that I have pretty tough hands

and that I thought that I would be alright without them


it turns out,

lifting weights every now-and-then

and being a fighter

doesn’t do shit

when your swinging an ax at giant tree roots



2 hours

I really thought my hands were tough enough

for manual labor

which I haven't really done

in years

And now

I have these four huge blisters on my left hand

I’m headed back today

to finish the job

and before I went to sleep last night

The little rich lady sent me a text

telling me

that she

went to the store

and bought me some new gloves

Bless her soul

The young are so quick to point out the mistakes that the elderly made

and the older folks

are so quick

to spot arrogance—mixed with naivety—in the young.

We balance the other out somehow.

-C.H. 7/8/23

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