Tool Sale

A few weeks (or was it months?)
ago
We heard the sirens, then the
news
Ted Johnson, that old guy, the next block over
Remember him?
With the dog?
White hair?
Yeah. I remember him.
I talked to him.
About his garden
My garden
His dog
My dog
Our wives both named Margie.

Collapsed in his yard.

Yesterday, a few weeks (or was it months?)
later
A handmade yellow sign on the corner: Tool Sale.
Overheard Margie (his not mine) telling other shoppers, 
mostly men, 
of his
work, tools, death, story.
Forty years an airline mechanic, you know
still fixed engines after he retired, you know

Collapsed in the yard.

Open garage andĀ folding tables
Everything organized in rows like a garden
Or a graveyard
Wrenches, calipers, sawblades, grease, metal
Things like voltmeters, soldering guns
Stickered with prices in sharpie
Now all of it half off
Since the day is ending

Twenty-five bucks pressed into his Margie's
widowed hand
And I own Ted Johnson's
heavy as hell
(carried to the car in a wagon)
cast iron
belt-driven
(The belt in fine shape)
bench-mounted
modded a bit by Ted Himself
Drill press.

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