Leftover husband skills

There was a girl I was interested in
but I’d forgotten how to flirt
and all I could remember how to do was
offer to carry some of her old things away.
She put me off and finally said OK.
I lent her my leftover husband skills,
put an old bathroom sink in my truck and hauled it off.
We went for ice cream and I never went back again.
It didn’t mean much.
She was just a friend.

Last week, I went to see another girl who needed mulch.
She grows daylilies in her flower beds
and out back by gardens in black plastic pots.
I told her I didn’t think it was enough, but
fifty bags of cypress was all she bought.
I lent her my leftover husband skills
and put the bags around her beds, but
she didn’t ask me to stay and spread.
She handed me her weed eater, said
she couldn’t figure out how to fix it.
I put a new line in.
It didn’t mean much.
She was just a friend.

Tonight, I saw a girl named Jen
with a bookcase from Target, the parts piled in a corner
because her camlocks were cockeyed and half screwed in.
She’d been in tears because she couldn’t assemble it herself
even though once she’d built an IKEA shelf.
I lent her my leftover husband skills
and tightened everything down,
lined up the particleboard and put the pegs in.
Her printer wasn’t working, so I talked her through that.
It didn’t mean much.
She is just a friend.

I saw a movie the other day
about divorced couples and the messes we find ourselves in.
The husband sneaks back to his old place at night
and waters the rosebushes out of mind, out of sight.
He couldn’t stop worrying what he’d always worried about.
As I watched the movie, I worried about him
lending leftover husband skills like an alcoholic habit.
You could see how silly it was to live like that.
I thought he would, but
he didn’t get his wife back at the end.
The credits rolled.
She was just a friend.

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