Beyond Repair

Steaming in the root cellar. Freezing in the root cellar. Always the rages and thirsts. My mother’s ghost shivers between walls and resentments pool at the foot of the stairs where a cast iron boiler hisses and growls. I turn a valve, rust fogs the glass gauge. I don’t turn a valve, a blue flame sputters and doesn’t. Enough levers and dials to power a rocket ship, but the ignitor can’t. The feed pump won’t. The thermostat tugs at frazzled wires. Black, red, black, red. The boiler hiccups and snores like my father. December ices my eyes.