Current working conditions

Too cold for the burglars.
They could wear coats I suppose,
but the wind is racing, unrelenting,
and only the most professional of thieves
would force themselves out
of their own house and into yours
to do half a night’s work.

We’ll put the alarm on,
but more from habit than expectation
it’ll see any trade.

Burglars are people too,
subject to weather and other interference.
A getaway car that won’t start.
Sudden holes in the gloves.
An allergic reaction to long-haired pets.

Imagine the Careers Counselor years before:
“Scared of the dark and a fear of heights?
Hardly the tools for a Roof & Window man.
Are you sure you won’t consider extortion or blackmail?
White collar crime’s only getting bigger,
some of my boys are doing just fine with mail fraud.”

Sneak thieves operate well enough
in daylight even when it’s cold,
although fewer doors are left open,
but you have to wonder
if the darkness robbers
keep an eye on the forecast
for nights like these
hoping the wife doesn’t lay out
that long underwear on the bed, saying
“Find something heavy to steal,
you’ll soon warm up.”

Hanging around, all that hiding in the bushes
or in a parked car (engine and heater off),
waiting for the bathroom light,
the bedroom light, to finally go dark.

Avoid readers, those who stay up
their nose in a book, their ears wide open.
You want the talk-show crowd
fallen asleep heavily halfway before the end.

Probably best to burgle happy people,
less likely to bump into them,
up and worried, walking the halls.
But there’s no need to worry tonight,
unless you’re a thief and behind on your rent.
Record lows in Texas mean that only the most desperate
will be out working.

The rest will be at home
with their disappointed wives
their dogs and dreams,
all the alarms left unrequited.