The Old Fashioned Kind
Of Hardware Store
A lo-o-ong counter that stretched the length of a wall
sturdy and built of wood. A smooth, shiny surface
where - given a slight push – your purchases could
slide all the way down to the cash register.
The tall, black metal cash register that ruled
over the whole operation. Little drawers
that opened and shut with a lively zing
And other bells and chimes to send what
ever was coming or going on their way.
On Saturday mornings the smell of men.
Working men, in denim or coveralls
Never mind what they did during the week
On Saturday morning they clenched cups
of freshly brewed coffee behind the rolls
of flooring & the smoke of their cigars
or cigarettes mixed with the softer steel
smell of metal from the nail barrels
filled with new nails of every size. The
tough odors of grease and lubricating oil
blended with the smell of new rubber tires
from the display of lawn mowers and cultivators
Another wall was decorated with
a variety of rakes – all sizes and also
brooms – one standard size. There was
an air pump to fill your tires. If someone
held the door open for you, you could
wheel your bicycle into this citadel
Of men who were acting like they believed
Real men should act– strong and purposeful.
.You threaded your way carefully
around the stacks of paint cans.
Admired the large posters displaying
A sample of every color known to man
All waiting to be blended in the special
paint blender, Its busy hum accompanied
The men who helped you with the tire pump
And held the door open for you as you pedaled
Away down your town’s bustling Main Street.