Under the table
There’s a sort of springy wire underneath my dining table,That’s in a kind of runner down each side.
It should go round a pulley thing in order to enable,
Each of the extending leaves to smoothly slide.
But I think the springy wire must have fallen off the pulley
As the metal slider thingy doesn’t work.
Instead of sliding smoothly it no longer opens fully,
It just judders to a stop in little jerks.
So now I’m lying on my back underneath the dining table,Trying to work out what’s gone amiss.
But the metal covered runner thing that holds the springy cable,
Is preventing me from seeing what it is.
I prod it with my finger and I pull the springy cable,
But I can’t see far enough along the track.
And the rail that runs from end to end that’s underneath the table,
Is digging rather sharply in my back.
Ithink that maybe if I took off both the wooden sliding panels,
As long as I could poke it back along the metal channel,
I might hook it round the pulley with my pen.
But, is it really worth it? I can feel my will desert me,
When I see it’s held each side by seven screws.
That’s twenty eight in total just to get the beggar free,
And twenty eight to put back in once it’s been loosed.
Thirty minutes later and I’ve unscrewed twenty seven,But the last one’s gone and got a busted head.
I wish I hadn’t started and I’ve lost the will for living,
But eventually I free the broken thread.
Now I’m studying the cable that’s fallen off the pulley,
And I’m blowed if I can see what holds it on.
But I poke it down the channel and I hook it back on fully,
Can’t help thinking that it won’t stay there for long.
Now if you think it wasn’t easy taking out the bloody screws,It’s ten times harder getting them to go back in.
Because gravity’s against me and I’m really not amused,
Indeed my patience now is wearing rather thin.
But, finally I’m finished and that springy wire cable,
Is back around the pulley wheel again.
However, when I pull the leaf out to extend the flipping table,
Nothing happens to the one the other end.
So, was it all a waste of time dismantling the slider thing,Two hours discomfort lying on my back?
Well, there is a tiny benefit from all that disassembling
No wire now hanging down beneath the track.
And the other little consequence of this minute adventure,
Is that I went out and wrote this little song.
So if you’re feeling musical, while I have your attention,
Why don’t you clear your throat and sing along …
…There’s a sort of springy wire underneath my dining table, …
Barnaby Wilde (November 2008)
You can find this poem and many others in Barnaby's collection 'Tunnel Vision' here
You can read all the finalists poems here
For more information about Barnaby's poems and fiction visit www.barnaby-wilde.co.uk