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  You could have a big dipper   

Classified Ad for a Digital Age by Philip Wexler

Broken squeegee mop for sale, nickname Gladys.

Won’t squish water any more.

You know, it’s the kind that after you mop up,

you push down on the handle

mechanism and it folds the sponge

in half so you can squeeze away

the dirty water into a waiting bucket.

You pull back up on the handle

and it’s ready to moisten to sop up

the next round of dirt.

Problem is, Gladys is stuck in the squeezed

position. As to the cause -

operational failure due to metal fatigue

is my best guess. In fact,

the sponge clamp is only partially connected

to the wooden rod because

two of the seven proprietary screws

have gone missing. But look,

if you’re handy, there’s always a work-around.

Gladys and I have been through a lot.

I don’t want to exaggerate and say

we’ve been inseparable but

our relationship is far from casual.

Also, the sponge itself is starting

to crumble but, believe me, the old girl

has some life in her yet.

Replacement parts are readily available

and lubricant can work wonders.

Purchased her new at $20 but she’s practically

an antique by now. Will take best offer.

Money-back guarantee of course.

And as for my wanting to sell,

it’s got nothing to do

with Gladys’ condition. I am moving up

to a self-propelled robotic sponge

using state-of-the art prosthetic and drone

technologies. Please understand

I hate to part from Gladys but

she’s ever so jealous, and with

another cleaning machine in the house,

I’d never hear the end of it.

You’d be doing both of us

an immeasurable favor. And please,

don’t hold it against me

that I’m a cyborg. We have feelings too.


Philip Wexler lives in Bethesda, Maryland. He has had over 170 poems published in magazines through the years. His collections of poetry, The Sad Parade (prose poems), and The Burning Moustache were published in November, 2019 and June, 2020 respectively by Adelaide Books. Another poetry collection,The Lesser Light, will be published in 2021 by Finishing Line Press. He also organizes Words out Loud, a spoken word series, at Glen Echo Park in Maryland, lately presented remotely via Zoom.

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