Tenderly they came, the great machines,
clawing up the earth.
I walked out, asked the men in the wet
trench they’d scraped across my yard
if they’d like some coffee, if they’d
struck gold yet.
We laughed like drains at that.
Next morning they were gone but he’d arrived:
Young Master Hydrant—
with a grapefruit-squeezer dome of a hat
and bright red mittens to match.
How fond I grew of him, so soon,
this upstart sprout so spic and span, so
unseasonably spry, catching my eye as all that year
college immatured into a peevish toy,
waspish even further past belief. But he won’t brook
a moment’s bitterness from me—he always looks as if
he’s just about to skip, to hemisphere that chain of his
from both bolts of his stumpy amputated arms
clean over his head for joy.