to re-hang the curtain, sheer pink polka-dot lace,
in my daughter's (was my son's, was my daughter's
and son's) bedroom; the spring tension rod constantly
falling. I'd gone to Lowe's three days before to buy the kind
requiring two screws, two pieces of metal on which to hang.
The new one would fit exactly where my sister (mom?)
had fastened the clasps thirteen years ago—first month
of my teenager's life, is what I thought, but four inches
too long; I would have to screw the new clasps in.
Shall we say I've never been much good in the realm
of the womanly arts? Embroidery, knitting, crocheting,
hanging curtains. Grabbed hammer and screwdriver
from the kitchen drawer, but without a power drill couldn't
get those screws to go in more than half way. Determined
to hang the damn thing, wedged the rod onto the fastener,
though by now I was one screw short (must've fallen behind
the bed)—but aha, I can take one from Mom's (Annie's?) job.
And then the unexpected: how it felt to loosen what one of them
had tightened in the fall of 2000, each untwisting taking me back
a year—sixth, fifth, fourth, third—to the small boy in a blue fleece
snuggly, blue booties falling off when I'd pick him up after another
day without him, there in the East Wing overlooking the harbor.