All Over Town
She says she has seen me on my knees
All over town, which she has.
I told Troy I even had knee pads and he laughed
But installing water meters requires such things
As one is on her knees all day long.
I have made a living on my knees
An unceremonial effort for a woman of my sort
Kneeling so often to do my work
And being paid well for the same.
I have spent years kneeling in straw and sawdust
Massaging and bandaging the legs of race horses
Only to graduate to cleaning houses and scrubbing toilets
And even for a while the barroom floors at Farley’s Pub
A single mom scraping peanut shells out of the corners
So often on my knees.
I moved forward in the world and back to school
A single mom of two growing boys who got certified
Learning a new trade along the way
Reading water meters and taking samples
Moving up again to aquifer mapping
Kneeling in sun and sand, rocks and gravel
Working in the wind and snow
Dropping a steel tape deep into the throats of wells
Yes, deep throat if you will, haha,
There on my knees my dearest, always,
Coupled with a reverence that has grown with the years
All the way to now at sixty four years of age
Installing my second round of water meters in Carrizozo
Some twenty years after the first time
The same meter cans, the same gravely ground
But with knee pads this time around
And an even greater sense of humility
Than the first time.
I wrote a poem back then,
Twenty years ago while reading a water meter,
Kneeling on the same haloed ground,
“The ‘iron knees’ of life are that we don’t pray enough”
There are worse ways to make a living than to be on ones knees,
All over town.