Lee Allen Hill
Basement dank and boyhood asthma. Auld acquaintances best forgot reunite halfway down uncertain cellar stairs. Clay-ey. Clammy.
Joisted cob webs, frail so far, foster grander intentions.
Sniff of ancient oil. Linger of sweat. And … something newer … the sharp note of insidious rust.
The toolman's Dracula, boy, sucks the sap outta everything.
Remnant of a resiny flavor … pine shavings, and the brassy tongue-bite of hardened steel.
The pull-chain bare bulb bounces, swings. Animates long shadows in a still-life recently rendered lifeless. Pegboard palette, tarred with insults of dust. Gape-jawed vises frozen, un-sated. Flat- and Phillips-heads all lined up. Left to loiter.
Lefty loosey, righty tighty, son.
A wrench tightens somewhere untouchable. A bolt from beyond. Silent saw-teeth grin.
Measure twice, cut once, boy.
The handyman's holy mantra, hammered home, hammered home.
Chisels, rasps, and planes gone dull, unfocused … doze. Hand tools without hands to hold.
Always lend your effort, son, but never lend your tools.
The 60-watt sways.
And don't forget to turn out the light.
on which legacies rest