Ode to a Socket Wrench

This entry is part 2 of 31 in the series Odes to Tools


wrench set

Better than all power tools
is the socket wrench:

its accommodating nature
its chrome-plated steel
its handling of torque.

It can make a complete revolution
from the smallest arc

& as if time could turn
in either direction
with the click of a lever

the past screwed down
the future loose

a spring-loaded finger
clicks against
the gearwheel’s teeth.

Series Navigation← Odes to Tools now in printOde to a Claw Hammer →

11 Replies to “Ode to a Socket Wrench”

  1. I don’t know how you do it, Dave. but I’m sure glad you do. I really relate to this one. First of all it’s a tool I have actually used, but also as a metaphor for life, it’s lovely. With this tool, we have some hands on control, we still have to consider the past, and we can take little clicky baby steps into the future. Contrast this with a power wrench which bullies its way blindly into the future, shredding the threads of the past and oft times locking a “tire’ into a state where it can never get free.

  2. Hey, thanks for the kind words, y’all.

    sarah b – Now you have me thinking I should try an ode to a hammer, too.

    Joan – I can’t help feeling that you’ve understood this poem better than I understand it myself. I’m not sure where some of these posts have been coming from, lately: I’m experimenting with a new technique of writing late at night, when I’m utterly exhausted, and I have to focus hard on every word. For years I’ve done my best writing first thing in the morning, so this represents a 180° switch — a tightening instead of a loosening, I think.

    leslee – Thanks. The cadence is always very important to me.

  3. Consider an entire toolbox of poems. Just being able to write the words “vice grips” brings tears to my eyes.

  4. sarah b – Shhh! You’ll hex it. I’m strictly a one-poem-at-a-time kind of guy.

    SB – Thanks. Well, I didn’t intend to write it in any form, but that’s the shape it assumed.

    Jarrett – It depends entirely on what you’re going to use them for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.