Sunday, September 24, 2006
My son flushed a binder clip down the potty.
I don’t know when or why. One day
he ransacked the desk drawer and toddled
into the bathroom carrying the clip
like an anchor. Flushing, a new skill, a joy,
pull the lever. Listen to water giggle and slide
down that hole. When I was young I imagined
an evil genie lived in the toilet. Each flush,
the noise and rush of everything, might rouse him
from that kink in the porcelain—the one I followed
with my hand at night when asthma came.
My parents ran a hot hot shower then sealed the room.
I’d lay alone, on the bath mat feeling the cold
porcelain bowl and kink with my hand
while the mirror turned white with steam, my breath
caught, my pipes clogged. My son’s turned
two. I’m told asthma’s not likely anymore.
The auger I bought won’t hook the thing he flushed.
We’ve no shortage of binder clips and don’t miss
the one now trapping paper and sludge so my wife
must traipse across the house each night.
I also try sulfuric acid. No kidding.
The label warns do not inhale, and application
Requires inverted bowls to catch the fumes.
It takes a plumber finally. But he is kind
and quick. The binder clip makes him laugh,
still shiny after acid and water. You’d never know
it slowed our flushes so long. “Did you do this,
sweet boy?” the rugged man asked my son, tussling
his hair with a clean scratchy hand. The toddler smiled,
looked away, then giggled and slipped into his hole
of a room, waiting for our hope to summon him forth
conjured again in puffs of joy and destruction
that always fulfill our wishes.
HillCountryWriter Category: Poetry
Technorati Tags: poetry writing verse
caught, my pipes clogged" line, and the connections you make between asthma and plumbing. By the way, I wish your plumber would come unplug our shower drain!
PS. Found you via RLP.
RLP is a good guy. Editing his work is one of my favorite parts of this job.
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