Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Poetry: Stripping floors


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.

Tom

2 comments:

The lady in Red said...

Dear Tom, it is a poem of rebuilding, very interesting..It is incredible how you can make an outstanding poem from any subject.

Merry Christmas and have a very happy new year,

Rosana

willow said...

Stripping the floors is a violent process, removing all that patina of history. It is a weighty choice. Be sure to show us the finished project!