Poem: Work to be Done


Work to be Done

There is not a right angle to be seen.
A tilt in the doorway. A sag in the floor.
The paint on the wainscoting is worn
and in places, the plaster has fallen from the walls.
Here and there, the windows crack.
It reminds you, too much, of yourself
and the slow rot of neglect.

But still, it stands.
The roofline is still straight.
The foundation sturdy.
The rest, you have learned, is cosmetics,
deep perhaps, but not too deep to save.
Ressurection is unlikely here, but still, possible.

You know the path back.
You know the journey, with its pitfalls and costs.
It is always harder than you imagine.
Behind every flaw is another larger one.
It will take years
and the cost will be high;
easier to abandon it and move on.
Newer homes await.

But there is magic here,
something worth saving,
You have done it before, and know
both the toil and reward.

You sigh and your feet stir the dust of abandonment.
Your heart cries and your heart soars
as you grab the broom.
There is work to be done.

About this poem

I often link restoration of things to restoration of my own life and soul. Both have been hard. Both are worth the work in ways that can’t be measured in dollars and sense.

The picture was taken at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s house in Lenox, Massachusetts.


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