By Maura Stanton
Under the rusting red metal lid we’re waiting for you—your father’s tools.
We always knew you weren’t going to build a doghouse or repair the stairs or
tighten a bibcock faucet, but we wanted to be of use as in the old days. Ah, the
old days! When we heard your father’s tread on the basement steps, we were
thrilled. The hammer clenched its head, the bubble trembled in the level, the
pliers stretched its jaws. But after your father died it was worse than we ex-
pected. You carted us out to your car, left us for months in the trunk, and then
stuck us on the floor of this hall closet next to the vacuum cleaner. Now the
hacksaw’s teeth are rusting, the file’s worn down, and the measuring tape sags
beside the plane. The poor jackscrew, no longer attached to a work bench, has
grown forgetful, and thinks it’s really a micrometer caliper. All you care about
is duct tape these days, tearing off flashy shreds to cover your botched work
while the tough little nails languish. So watch out! All of us in here are fed up
with your disregard for some of mankind’s oldest inventions, so if you ever do
open this lid you’re going to get hurt.