August is vacation time. This poem is for those who remain behind to mind the store.
There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it
Which checks the insurance, and doesn't forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;
which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists
And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds
The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.
And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dry rotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
my suspect edifice upright in the air,
As Atlas did the sky.
U. A. Fanthorpe
English poet, 1929-2009
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