By Marilyn Zuckerman
“…the painters care that the wall is smooth…the carpenter cares that the corners are mitered properly.” (From Steven Kurtz’s New York Times article, “Thanks For Ripping Up our Home”, about the combined effort of workers building a Chelsea loft and a fulsome thanks from the loft’s owners.)
Seeing beauty everywhere—
the deep glow of cherry wood cabinets
bookcases and ruddy floorboards
perfectly laid, arrow straight
and walls where the paint flowed flawlessly
light green and eggshell white
—the gorgeous tiled shower
fit for the Taj Mahal.
Like a visitor to the museum
I’m gazing at the art
examining the details
—a geologist at the Grand Canyon.
I think of the effort it takes
to make a house—
I think of barn raising—
everyone sweating toward one goal
—a house with walls
and a roof, sweeping windows
a basement and a fireplace.
This same effort once made the Pyramids
a cathedral or a prairie home.
But here’s the miracle—
everything has come together
as we planned—
See the workspace before the window
bookcases around it
for papers and poems in progress
no longer lying precariously as they once did
on the top of the dining room table.
Now the new refrigerator
sings, hums and makes
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This poem is intended as homage to the crew of Upright Construction, some of whom I met once or not at all while others I learned to know quite well. Everyone on the team did more than pull his/her weight and left individual fingerprints on the job—my deep thanks for being so aware of my needs and leaving behind a work of beauty for my pleasure!