I’m going to paint the walls of this room over.

They’re old now and they clash with the décor.

But the days are short and there’s no light,

no tarps, no plastic covers

And I’m sure I’ll get drippings on the pale hardwood floor.

Sure, there’s some would say ‘he’s doing it out of anger,’

Others ‘over things long gone away.’

I say I’m just doing it out of a hunger

For better and brighter rooms and a milder space.

It struck me just now, sitting here, the way the light filters

Through the trees and incandesces in places.

These somber spots, dancing macabre dances, lilt and skitter

Off the crackly pigment – fitful fingers and mewling faces.

And how they dance! How they hypnotize!

They induce sleep, cause me to droop dolefully.

And it’s only in this trance that I begin to realize

My charge – I have to paint these walls and carefully

Fill in the cracks that cause the light to dance:

Spackle and prime, smooth out surfaces

With careful, concerted brushstrokes. A chance

For renewal, for correction, for saving face.

A new coat of paint is quite the undertaking

Stripping the old, dipping brushes in

New colors –


Hues must be chosen meticulously, caring

Not to commit that cardinal sin

Of décor –

Namely, clashing.

– if I could fling these cans:


Let the paint


All over these hardwood floors –

I would.

But, days are short and light, scarce.

If things were different, maybe I could.

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