The Wapper

Maple floor

daunting mountain of maple -
big stacks of prefinished flooring.
In French, each huge label roaring
"Erable" - Canadian staple.

Stretched end-to-end, a mile of wood
that will with much hard work, no doubt,
result in brand new floors throughout.
Three are set to go, feeling good.

Each is a meticulous ace:
the captain to plan a smooth flow;
the planner to match boards just so;
the tapper to fix each in place.

The tapper, like he always has,
gently hammers each piece in place,
driving nails at a careful pace.
But what's he got? What is this jazz?

Some gadget, with a heavy mallet.
"A nailer", he says. "With one wap
it drives a nail perfectly. Zap.
This will speed up our work, I bet."

Skeptical, I select a board.
The tapper sets it in just so,
the mallet strikes a mighty blow.
Wap! A fit well worth an award.

Wap, wap, wap, in quick succession.
A mad scramble, I dare not blink.
This will be a big mess, I think.
Wap! Wap! Wap! Wap! "Board done. Next one."

The gentle tapper, now transfixed,
is enslaved by wapping temptation.
No time for fine contemplation.
The boards are going in fast. "Next."

A warped board, the fit not precise,
means a break, to pry it in place,
wedging it with anchor and brace,
forcing a fit that is quite nice.

The wapper says, eyeing the gap,
"No, just let me wap it in tight."
The mallet is raised great height
and slammed down, a thunderous WAP.

The board snugs in. Perfect, so fine.
A few more waps, then that one's done.
"Next." Wap! Wap! And so on and on.
I give up the perfect design,

rush to keep the wapper supplied.
And the captain almost goes nuts
breaking bundles, making end cuts.
That's the first day of our wild ride.

The next days each see the same fate.
We are done in no time it seems.
The mountain gone, the new floor gleams.
It looks really good, really great.

In less time, than had it been tapped,
the wapping result is better.
Great way to lay floor, and yet, er,
a bit of my soul has been wapped.

An almost-true story; it happened just like this, but I was the wapper.

The above poetic style, in which the middle two lines of a four-line stanza rhyme and the outer two rhyme, is known as the enclosed rhyme quatrain style.

Note that each line of this poem has eight syllables, as does a pi-ku.