The broken refrigerator

Hasn’t everyone had refrigerator problems–the ice maker, the filtered water, or too much frost, or it’s just not working?  Here’s a sweet take on replacing one from The Writer’s Almanac.

In a Dream of Chivalry

My father is helping the Ledoux sisters
move their old refrigerator
into the basement when they buy the new one.
The dolly hasn’t been touched for years,
but it still has grease in the wheel bearings
and makes a mollifying squeak
as he bumps across the threshold
from the kitchen to the parlor.
He moves delicately to keep the balance,
avoiding the soft places in the floor,
and as he moves, those Ledouxs tsk
and fuss about what to fix for supper.
He thinks now on hot afternoons
as they cool off in the basement
they won’t have to climb the stairs
to freshen two glasses with iced tea.
He is happy they have patched things up
after decades of not speaking.
Nina Totenberg is talking on public radio.
Pea their green parakeet is singing.
At the stairs he loosens the straps,
takes the refrigerator off the dolly,
lays it on a quilt and edges it slowly.
It is a kind day, breezy and mildly warm.
My father is not jousting or scaling a battlement.
He is watching the Ledoux sisters
show off their new refrigerator, its four adjustable
trays, chill drawer, and ice-maker—
and sees himself handsome, a knight, a sir.
Under his overalls’ armor, his tie is still knotted.
A Sunday. How clean things are.
When Belle touches the button
on the little spigot on the door
clear water pours into a silver cup.

Rodney Jones