Making coffee, I noticed crumbs coming
from underneath the old toaster which
sits impatiently waiting for the occasional
English muffin, fresh bagel, frozen waffle
or more often than not, wholegrain bread,
tucked next to the butter knife and butter dish
in a botanical design of my husband's choosing.
Who could know the only item in our wedding registry
would outlive him, not to forget the knife set
complete with blade sharpener, tomato slicer,
four of six steak knives wooden handles slowly rotting
used for almost everything except the rare London Broil.
I unplugged the toaster, disturbing two spiders who
I was surprised to see were living below the black rubber base.
Upside down shaking the toaster showered all shades of brown
to black, this given to me secondhand by my neighbor
who raised ten children, back when bread was delivered.
How many of these burnt bits are mine, my face intent
reflecting my wrinkles back to me as the sun points out
just how much polishing needs doing with elbows,
assorted cleaning products, scrubbers, and cloths.
My hands work together as if creating in cool clay
while lovingly restoring glory to this old appliance
so easily pleased by a mere thirty minutes or more
of somebody, anybody, my touching caress and attention.
I certainly didn't intend for the tea kettle
to feel slighted, its dull copper wanting to shine
but such is the way of older things brought out
instead of buying something new, destined by design
only to deteriorate daily, the absolute obscenity
of downright deliberately planned obsolescence.