Helen Pruitt Wallace

Paying a Blind Man to Wash and Wax My Car
October 20, 2021 Wallace Helen Pruitt

Paying a Blind Man to Wash and Wax My Car

Maybe they’re right, friends who mock me,
but there he was at my door knocking,

handsome in dark shades, a cane, bucket
and sponge by his feet. Legally, he shrugged,

though I hadn’t asked—the Dodge was a mess.
I tugged the rubber hose across the grass,

then went inside. An hour passed, maybe two
before he rang to tell me he was through,

and there, the car gleaming from the curb.
Thirty bucks (and a half-day) later I discovered

the other side: dirt, grime. Am I a fool?
Over time (still asking), I’m drawn to dual

narratives, half-truths seen and unseen—
mottled parts of me that don’t come clean.

Helen Pruitt Wallace’s first collection of poems, Shimming the Glass House, won the Richard Snyder Prize for Poetry and a Florida Book Award, and her chapbook, Pink Streets, was published by Yellow Jacket Press. Individual poems have been published in several journals and anthologies, and lyric essays in River Teeth and Sweet: A Literary Confection. She earned her Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from Florida State University, and has taught poetry and non-fiction at Eckerd College. Host of the Dali Poetry Series at the Dali Museum, Wallace is the Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg, FL, and currently working on a new manuscript of poems.