I come from a family
not afraid of a little paint stripper
or paint.

My grandmother would paint old furniture
bright colors, red, fuschia, robin egg blue,
then make slip covers out of drop cloths or
old tablecloths.

Us kids would come home to Mom in the carport
in her work shirt and shorts, rubber gloved,
scraping old varnish into a metal coffee can.
Her style more conservative, dark stain or
antiqued paint, to mimic walnut or pecan.
Then to the fabric store for a remnant of expensive
upholstery fabric marked down to pennies,
to cover the seats with matching pillows.

Restoring perfectly serviceable objects into
something brighter,
more colorful,

Restore me, I pray,
into something more perfectly serviceable,
something brighter,
more colorful,

First Week of Advent


I like maps.
Gas station paper maps
that are folded in some odd origami
that once undone
can never quite be folded that way again.

I like atlases and old surveyors maps
with the keys to the different hash marks and dot dot dots
in neat little boxes in the corners of the page.

Pictures of newly discovered countries
when the earth was flat
and there were sea monsters
and undiscovered riches to be found.

Destinations, all to find a destination,
to trace our path, the turning point,
the crossroad to get us to that future place.

Take me to that ancient path,
set before me the way,
lead me to my destination,
where once lost,
I am found.

First Week of Advent