Voices on the Wind
Give Us This Day Our Daily Tool
by Gary David
Atop the steel roof
of the Ace Hardware store
in Erstwhile West, Arizona
a simple white cross
constructed of indestructible
4-inch PVC pipe lords
over the empty parking lot.
This down-to-earth icon
is flood-lit all night—not just
Xmas but year-round!
Each backsliding heathen, each
Kali-fornicating sinner: be
these parts, even to buy
a plumbing snake or plunger.”
O holy Ace, blessèd be thy monkey
wrenches, thy flatheads,
thy drill bits, thy hacksaw blades.
Sanctify thy dead bolts
and crowbars and turf spades.
Blessèd be thy needle-nose pliers
and vise grips, thy hex nuts
and toggle bolts. Give us this day
thy forged claw hammer, thy fine sand paper.
Blessèd be the holy ark
of thy red-metal tool box.
Thy ball cock shall deliver us
unto the hereafter long after
our crapper is but a rusty throne.
O steel wool Jesus, our helpful hardware man,
thou art king of the carpenter’s rule,
the miter box, the tenpenny nail.
O true value Lord, bestow upon us
thy saving graces, thy silver rolls
of duct tape and sheer plastic sheets
no Axis of Evil shall penetrate. Ever
armed with staple guns and box cutters,
we creationist Crusaders
shall beat the Devil
at his own game, shellac
his scraggly Sharia beard
with polyurethane, screw down
his scrotum to a splintered 2-by-4—then run
his skinny rump out of town
for good! As Father always said,
“The right tool for the job…”
shall be our 11th Commandment
immortalized in concrete
on the sidewalk by the Ace born
in a sheep shed, raised
to pound spikes, then risen
off the roof
of our hardware to heaven.