Since the end of summer

furniture, clothing, clocks,

old board games, computers

new and old plus TV sets

have been shuffled or

carried upstairs and down

from attic to both basements

as I watched, saving

attached memories and stories

Nothing was sacred or safe

until I claimed the right

of last refusal, which

mere months later transformed

into the next generation

looking for things wanted

from the past, from childhood,

Nintendo controllers, cameras

from before they were born

Then I joined the parade

cleaning and moving beds,

chairs, tables, plants,

paintings, prints, dressers

not dusted or cleaned

if I'm honest, for years

which led to three ways

to really clean thirsty

and stained antique wood

Armed with steel wool,

abrasive toothpaste, soft

old t-shirts and assorted

lemon oil products plus

used tea bags, tackling

one table first, my former

bed stand, the grain lost

under grime, under water

stains of life falling

Apart, now rebuilding

one thing at a time despite

the dependency hell that

disturbs my slumber and

my waking hours when

the light incandescent

or natural through distorted

drafty windows plays tricks

across the room like piano keys

Highlighting the warmth

of wood thankful, of wood

asking for more, such simple

requests, my hands trembling

my hands with splinters

nicked with blood, coaxing

new life from old, I find

myself asking for forgiveness

the answer oh so lemony.


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