Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Poetry: Stripping floors
You have to choose,
whether to strip the paint
in a flurry of sanding and dust and violence,
ripping every trace of the past
in a whirlwind of work
until the floors are pristine
and perfect, a showpiece
for magazine covers and people
who will never know anything different
than the presentation of perfection.
do it slowly,
pulling each layer of paint
off with paste and a scraper,
on your knees, prayer like
for days, knowing
the final result will be imperfect,
that flecks of paint past
will lie forever deep in the grain,
but at the same time, saving
the patina of the past
that reflects the past 200 years,
and shows the beauty of the journey.
You have to choose.
The picture is of the first level of stripping of my living room/dining room floors. They are unusual, with the outer rim of flooring being spruce (shown) and the inner section (where you would lay carpet) being hickory (a rougher grain wood). You can click on it for a larger version.