July 18, 2008

Varnish This!

The worst color and two coats
of it thick on the desk
that I want for my work. Three
kinds of stripping solution, steel wool,
turpentine, finally de-natured
alcohol does the trick, lifts
malignant stain from the deep grain,
gives me back the lines
of raw wood, corners grey and rough
where damage must be scrubbed smooth.
But now it is my desk; I own
its very skin, have claimed its planed surface,
brace, and drawer with chafed hands,
stiff neck, cramped back stooped
to abrade its dark belly, squared legs.
And hard varnished to slick
and shining surface, I set my light,
my book, my clean sheets,
dangerous points upon it, and when asked
about my work I say: If
you want to write, then do it.

—Lynnell Edwards

Posted by dwaber at July 18, 2008 02:09 PM