Wednesday August 28th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the caretaker.

Harvested a bunch of tomatoes for the bakery (cherry) and restaurant (heirloom) this morning, along with zucchini, swiss chard, eggplant, jalapenos, and... a disappointing amount of blackberries and raspberries. Looks like we're coming to the end of berry season.

Which is okay, really, considering how long it takes to pick them.

Mine:

His mother works too much,
His father not enough;
For such a little guy,
Life can be pretty rough.

The neighbours shrug and frown,
Teachers keep their distance,
Though privately they talk
Much of his persistence.

He ignores each of them,
His life speaks for itself;
For when push comes to shove
He takes care of himself.

3 comments:

Greg Bennett said...

Trisha would be this person, and I was thinking of her daytime TV show which I believe could be a little bit like Jerry Springer at times. I almost went with "Springer" instead of Trisha but I didn't think it had recent-enough name recognition!
Congratulations on getting caught up with all the comments! I am very impressed with the effort that must have taken, given that you reply to everyone :)
That's a charming little poem, and the last verse very nicely rounds it all off. I like the rhyme scheme you've chosen, and the indifference in the middle verse comes across beautifully!

The caretaker
At five years old, Julie was the oldest of all the children gathered round in a circle, and she was telling them about the Caretaker.
"I've seen him," she said, and some of the younger children squeaked with fear. "He's tall and has black hair, and he drives a big blue car that roars when it starts up. That's because it hunts for little children, and the roar scares them so they can't run away."
"You're lying!" said Jamie, but they could all hear the fear and doubt in his voice.
"No! No, I'm not. Because he comes in late at night, and he goes into your mother's room with her, and he sucks all the care out of her. I've seen him doing that, and it's... well, it's weird really. But your mother just screams and moans the whole time, because it hurts to have the Care taken like that. And then in the morning she doesn't love you any more."
Jamie looked at the bruises on Julie's arm and said nothing, suddenly wise beyond his years.

Aholiab said...

The Caretaker

Alfred rocked back in his chair and scowled at the squeak it made on the porch. With all the money that was spent on this little hideaway, you’d think they could make sure the foundation was solid. There were probably more important things to complain about, but right now the most annoying thing in the world was that squeak.

He gazed across the grassy area sloping down to the lake. Thirty feet of grass, then a hundred and fifty foot long fishing dock. It would only take him about ten minutes to get his rod, reel, and tackle. Of course any kind of an outing like that would require three days advance notice, and probably the approval of the president himself. The security detail would number in the dozens and the cost would exceed a hundred thousand dollars. All that fuss just so he could catch a couple of trout.

He sighed and closed his eyes. If he were twenty years younger, he could have jumped up, run down the length of the dock, and dived into the cool water before his caretaker could catch him. Now he probably wouldn’t get halfway across the grass before he was tackled by guards willing to shield his body with theirs.

He loved how they referred to themselves as caretakers. Why weren’t they caregivers? Why did they have to run so fast? Why were they putting the straitjacket back on? There were always so many questions, and the answers were always the same: “Alfred, it’s ok. It’s for your own good.”

Marc said...

Greg - ah, thanks for that link. And... yeah, catching up on comments seems to be a very temporary state these days.

Goodness me, that's a dark little scene. But so well done!

Aholiab - hah, I quite like this Alfred fellow. I wouldn't mind hearing more from him, should the opportunity arise :)