Poem: The Fixing of Broken Things


The Fixing of Broken Things

You would like it to be more romantic,
the stuff of novels and poems.
But in the end, it is simply work,
prosaic and hard and mostly out of sight.
There is grinding and dust and the cleaning away
of life’s debris,
then chiseling away again
in the back room where no one sees,
where no one wants to see.

They prefer the glamor and illusion
that it all comes like magic,
God-breathed inspiration
brought from the brink of death to beauty,
a novel with a gritty plot and beautiful dolls
and a seamless happy ending.

But it never ends, the work.
That is no complaint, it is just the fact.
There is always mending to do,
always the broken parts made by reckless lovers
and a dark world that breaks it toys and leaves them on the floor,
broken, more repairable than most people believe, not things
to be tossed in the dust bin, not things
to be swept quietly in the closet, not things
to burn behind the house,

but things to repair,
never easy, but always possible,
when one is willing
to do the work.

About this poem. 

When my kids were small, I had in my library a place the kids called the “daddy fix it” pile. They would bring broken toys and set them on the pile and my job was to fix them. Many of them were little things, sometimes cheap plastic things that most of us would toss. Maybe I should have too – often they were hard to fix because they were designed to be disposable. But they were precious to my young daughter and son, so I worked at fixing them.

I learned a lot fixing those little toys. Mostly that almost anything can be fixed. Not perfectly, but fixed. It’s a lesson that served me well when I myself came undone. And a lesson that serves me well in the work I do.

It can generally be fixed. With enough work.

Be well. Travel wisely,


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