So Many Locks, So Few Keys

door handle key keyhole
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So Many Locks, So Few Keys

Locksmithing looks like a lonely profession –
You get out to meet with the public, for sure,
But only the once, on your knees at their door.
You wrestle my barrel with little progression –
I’d naively pictured a surgeon-like skill:
Lockpicks and skeletons – rather than chisel and drill.

You work with me watching you over your shoulder,
Incase your tools gives my lockplate a nick –
What else can I do as we wait for the click ?
The drizzle picks up and your fingers grow colder,
Still trying to jiggle and jostle and jolt –
My whole life is trapped by a quarter-inch tamper-proof bolt.

And as for my neighbours – despite all your racket
While drilling-out, hammering, jemmying, screwing,
There’s none of them come by to check what you’re doing.
I s’pose I’ll take solace in how you must whack it !
I guess my old lock kept me truly secure –
A pity you must rip this hero from off of my door.

Finally !
You swing the door open to grant re-admittance,
My castle is taken – besieged, though benign –
And all my possessions are once again mine !
Though looking around, it feels like a housebreaker’s pittance –
My lack of ’lectronics and marble and chrome
Was probably all this time keeping me safe in my home.

You offer me three diff’rent grades of replacement,
With some anti-bump, anti-snap – and you grin:
“With this one, not even a locksmith could win !”
Though all this is pointless if I haven’t locks on each casement –
No-one will sweat on the strongest-held link
If the toplight’s ajar once again by the sink.

At last, I’m shaking your hand and writing your cheque.
Despite the assault on my fraught liquidity,
I have been saved from my own stupidity.
I show you at last to the door, which you brought back to spec.
“We shan’t meet again, I pray !”  Your expression
Makes me think locksmithing looks like a lonely profession.

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