Blue Bonnet Review

A Literary Journal Featuring Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction by Talented Writers Around the Globe

A literary journal featuring poetry, fiction and nonfiction by writers around the globe. 

Home Improvement

Lee Chilcote

Every time you touch something it falls apart
says Dave the plumber
standing over a leaky set tub
that costs four hundred dollars to fix

But I come from shower caulkers,
nail hole spacklers, porch painters
who believe that home improvement
is a way of improving ourselves

Dave asks me what I wanna do
and despite the field where a house was torn down
and home values that are in the shitter
I tell him to go ahead

because Iā€™m from Cleveland
where real estate is a place to live,
a bubble popped a long time ago

Things can only go up, we believe
but Dave, he does not believe in anything
his permanent scowl
a warning to home owners everywhere

But we persist anyway
because of a leaky valve

On Saturdays, we gather at Home Depot,
an army of weekend warriors
rising up to replace shoe molding
Have we reached bottom yet?
Lord, keep our houses from falling apart
faster than our equity builds up

One night, kneeling before the downstairs toilet
with a wrench and a new ballcock,
I peer through a hole in the drywall
where the kids ripped out the toilet paper holder

I see my future flash before my eyes:
an old man with a list of DIY projects