After dad died,
I opened it-
that rusty red lid
with the tools screaming for attention,

The ones dad yelled about
breaking,
chipping,
leaving out.

Yes, the same.

they know his hand
the way he held hammer’s head
and struck,
every curse for the blow
to tender thumb.

they heard them all.
The pliers tightened it jaws
and the level bubbled with joy.

Except it was me.

I kept them, yes,
in the garage,
next to the others.

They got to know them.
those smells and dry air.

And occasionally
I used them,

till my hands felt
the pressure,
same pain.

but they were never
relaxed,
never mine.

3 May 09