What I remember most are Helpful Hands.
Glenn’s Helpful Hands were always there
No matter what the need might be
A deep hole for a just-acquired tree
A light switch in a wall gone mad
A sewer pipe that would no longer swallow
It did not matter what
Glenn’s Helpful Hands were there.
It seemed I wouldn’t even need to ask.
Like some blue-collared superhero,
Glenn would just appear with wrench or shovel or
Some ingenious tool I never even knew there was —
To fix some problem I had just encountered and was stuck by.
I see his Helpful Hands each day I sit down to work, my desk
Extended carefully and lovingly and craftily to meet a need I’d had.
I’ve kept it as it was although the need has long since vanished.
And one October afternoon nearly decades now ago,
When I was miles — a continent, in fact — away,
The earth shook shaking down the world.
Glenn wrapped his loving father’s Helpful Hands
Around my family better than I might have done myself had I been there,
And brought them both to safety in his home
And kept them there until I could get back to be with them again.
All safe and sound they were and full of tales of Helpful Hands.
For some short time in all the years he lived across the street,
I acted very stupid, not asking for his help or letting when he offered.
You see, he never asked for help from me for anything
And so I felt the ledger out of balance too far in his favor.
It was an ego thing. I know. I know that now.
And luckily I realized fast enough the only gift I had of any value
I could give to Glenn was simply letting him provide his Helpful Hands.