The Draughtsman

Seventeen years since your retirement –
one for every foot of your occupation of my girlhood
which was not to scale, for at seventeen I discovered you are
as unassailable as the stool my three-foot self could never climb,
however steadily positioned against the drawing board
with a drop so sheer for the plummet of your moods
that frequently rolled like pencils over blue-prints
of right-angled doorways and vague outlines of windows,
like a sketchy outlay of the foundations of your being
that insisted on revealing where the septic tank should be.
As if we did not know where the sewage was located,
while numerous Storage Units were strewn arbitrarily
across both floors of your semi-detached self
without any clues as to what should be kept in them,
though we later suspected.
And now that your own foundations are beginning to sink
and you are no longer to scale as you once were then,
(less defiant two-story than abandoned bungalow)
I still tip-toe slowly across the t-square of your mood
negotiating it like a pirate’s plank knowing it will
inevitably lead to a 90 degree turn
Onto which I mount and slide unsteadily
as it narrows and shortens,
while your tongue sharpens the lead of my feelings,
paring them down until there is a storage unit’s worth of shavings
to shore up with a wooden ruler.
One rule for you
and a different rule for everyone else.

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