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.