The Old Labor Force

There’s that wrench sitting on the shelf,
Behind the paint can and the dented cardboard box filled with plastic gloves.
Prize sized and silver yet
Adjustable widths and flexible lengths
Cold and stiff, hiding (our so it seems) in the dark, closet-ness of a cold house
Door closed and trembling vents, the radiator hits back and forth
Against the back rim, with no heat but the dents grow deep
Our wrench, the one in question—does not budge.
Like clouds, background noise or scraps for the dogs
There it is still  
In all her glory.
Not a peep, waiting, like the Good Men said she would.
She might oxidize waiting that way, in the damp 
And they were right.
It wasn’t until I searched for a roll of toilet paper that I found her.
Have you ever? A roll of toilet paper, I say
I found her unveiled, unkempt, dismembered (but ironically SANE)
My first reaction was to hiccup, but a cackle escaped
I had been looking for her for so long— the perfect tool!
Until then she was nowhere to be found (or)
At least, I learned later on and after further investigation
That she had been banished.  Expatriated. 
Home Depot informed me that they had stocked up on the latest TFA models
*Limited Edition* models, shiny, unhitched, unexperimented with
Agreeable, compromising, durable, athletic, white steel force
How could the union let this happen?
Whose fault is it? 
I interrogated the spouse,
the kids,
the lover,
And the police, even. 
I wanted to know. 
I went to the town school and asked if they had seen her back then or whenever
They pointed me to clues, like where she had unjammed the doors
A memory board, apparently was her doing
What about the doll house, I asked, what ever happened to that? 
Layed flat on its back in a perpetual state of under-construction
On my way out, they all pointed to a pic of the State (implicated)
Let’s not talk about them, I say, talk about her!
To the eyes of young men, she was simply lost
Unveiled, unkempt, dismembered (but ironically SANE)
Behind the old mop and broken vacuum, she sat
Quietly waiting.
Her steel body appeared to weave in and out between shelves,
Making music with her silence
Prophesizing and philosophizing and writing—
Asking why?
Asking when?
The wrench was my friend and I miss her.
She was my best friend, even.
She reminded me of happenings and hope.
Of  reconstruction and possibility.
She was back then our *Limited Edition*
With no *Lifetime Warranty*
And didn’t.
She had nothing.
She was just a wrench,
Made in a time when a wrench was all we needed to fix things.
Perfectly useful and necessary
But now, we are at ‘the end of the day’ days
The bottom line days, right?
The days when wrenches are old and unnecessary

Like water out of a bottle.


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