The Lazy Gondolier



Rumour has it you’ve cast your lot

with one lazy gondolier, a melodious jerk

who barcarolles with the very best of them,

but isn’t worth a crap when it comes

to finding treasure in the Lido’s squooshy turf

at daytime’s lowest tide. Oh, he can expertly

steady his boat into wasp-waisted slips

and rough-sea piers, but give your guy a shovel —

even show him exactly where to dig or scoop —

and damned if he’ll ever turn over one ducat,

much less something feminine and personal

like a corroded or encrusted bracelet. Moreover,

everybody sees he never breaks a sweat,

never pants like a strung-out greyhound

from genuine exertion, which is why I rush

to call him lazy. But now confide in me,

pretty-pretty please: is he the selfsame way

when he’s practically all by himself? (You know,

when he’s with no one except the likes of you?)