Andrew Frisardi


THE SWEEPER
 
He came to us one day in all his grimness
To purge the hardened tar that crimped our chimney. 
He came to us as if a silhouette.
Grumbling greetings, he unlatched his kit
Of grips and metal bits with wire meshes,
And screwed in place the mother of all brushes.
He dragged out from a plastic sack his hide
For inside, harsh with char, and pulled its hood
Up on his head to shinny into darkness.
We hung a sheet to claim the fire’s carcass,
Around the flame-devouring mouth of hearth
That spat the felled dismemberings of his art. 
He plied his scrubber like a metal mole
Sounding out the measure of his hole. 
We were relieved to listen to the bristles
Grate old winter nights’ combusted dust,
All that was left of bonds to soothe our sores.
We loved to hear the slough of spent desires.
His mouth still blind to words, the man pulled free 
His head from all that past. An unclogged flue 
Is a freed soul, he seemed begrudgingly 
To grant, and scrunched his brush to pure potential.