Original Hardwoods

Aging in place, the stairs
curve red, a crack just
second from the top: step
wide towards the hundred-year nails.
Your feet are longer than these planks
are wide. Watch, tilting, as toes
curl, a tumble threatening down.

Burnished in amber,the landlord’s
stilettos trapped pocks like stopwatches.
These buggy blemishes came with the house,
long past our rent’s due, they’ll stay.
We’re not the first to live here,
we won’t be the last, and it won’t
be our deposit in doubt.

There’s an ant colony down deep
under us – deftly carved and industrious,
far more secure than the cedars
on this earthquake land. Each summer
workers come to greet us, their trailings
old as the windows, leaving tracks
in storied scents on these rusted sand
floors, these warm reds where lives lived.

A stripe of golden yellow, there:
a scratch of dog claws, a toddler
learning the physics of mortality.
Fall down, and they’ll catch you:
these floors are softer than you think.

Day Two at napowrimo.net: a poem about a specific place

http://www.napowrimo.net/day-two-7/

3 thoughts on “Original Hardwoods

    1. We’ve been informed that if we want to get rid of the ants, we’ll likely have to demolish most of the block: the colony is far more entrenched than the people are.

      Liked by 1 person

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