i put on some water for tea

then decided to mop the floors

of our new little nest

before the furniture gets carried in

before the rest of our lives happen

Murphy’s Oil Soap

water and sunshine into a bucket

carried through the echoing emptiness

of what will be

over original hardwood

placed there in 1941

i love to clean

the ritual of it

i write in my thoughts as i work

images painting themselves

into spaces around my gentle humming

spreading wet across the grain

seeing hands that mopped this floor

before me

wives husbands

fathers mothers

lovers and

put-upon teenagers

oh this house

has a history

built the year

the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor

it’s all still there

nailed down memories

layers of time entombed in wax

someone stood in that living room and heard

we dropped the bomb

we landed at Normandy

of a flag raised in Iwo-Jima

Kennedy was dead

Vietnam was a lost cause only good

for folded flags being handed to weeping mothers

Nixon was a crook

Reagan and John Lennon had been shot

the Berlin wall had fallen

i heard first steps

crying babies

crying widows

joyous laughter

say cheese

wine glasses clinking together

realizing with a smile

this floor is mine

the foundation of a family

and i will love it

then

the teapot

began to whistle