Fixing the Toilet
He watches eagerly for his chance
to use the new tool kit, as we attempt
to replace a broken toilet handle.
Never in all my married years
did I ever imagine so much brokenness
but I am attempting to fix what I can
in front of my son, for my son.
The air is tight around our bodies.
I untread the nut from the old lever,
remove it from the tank. Then he puts
fingers around the new ring.
He gives a quick turn, then another,
his small man hands working the lever
through the tank hole as handle fits shank
piece fits piece, the inside of the tank
rust-colored from years of hard water.
Then the moment of truth
my son does the honors:
a push of the lever, the swirl of water—
a wide smile and high-fives to follow.
I press my palm to the ivory lid
as not to drop this heavy thing
or ruin this moment. Every thing
back in its place, the tools at the ready
waiting to be called into service.