old houses hold on. the first day i saw this house
i knew it was my home, knew its many windows.
its east facing door was the first thing i painted.
upstairs, early on, we removed that beige broadloom
peculiar to quick flips. such old wood in some rooms
refinished, but under the carpet, a ruin, old battleship
grey paint, chunks of o.s.b. roughed in in patches
and in one bedroom corner a devastated, glorious
campfire-sized hole charred out of the floor. underlay
and carpet had sufficed to keep its secret. who walks
in corners? besides the ghosts and stale currents
that made the long hallway a neck-chilling passage
even before the neighbour’s cat died piteously, despite
our last-ditch hail-mary we’ll take her off your hands
they had seven kids, no vet money anyway. we made her
comfortable, cleaned and smoothed her fur, she died
damply, in that corner. i could see the mark
for years. but now, the man of the house has opened
the hidden bend, released the stagnant chi, the hall
bright and peaceful lay til today, finally it was time
to tile that floor, smooth the spirit.
the wood has had enough time to breathe, purrs
gently as i knuckle, forearm, shin and step
each tile spread like a vinyl balm upon the scars
we’ve honoured and loved. there are really
no boring jobs.