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(Columbia County, NY -1978)

A faded white cabin stands by a stream
looking out at where the water rushes over black rocks
and tumbles down into a shady pool.

The unfinished porch exposes its bare wood
covered only with curling, cracked remnants of tar paper.
Inside, the hardwood floors are still sound
except where the open door let unknown seasons of snow and rain
rot a small area in front of the sill.

Beyond the porch, water stained walls tell of a roof in need of repair.
Grimy kitchen windows can not hide the brilliance
Of October's woods reflected in the stream.
Another room looks backward toward a quiet country road.

In the attic hundreds of wasps' nests stick to the rafters,
Their tenants flying slowly in and out of louvered vents
as the autumn sun warms the cool morning air.
Strewn hickory nut shells tell of a squirrel's winter
and forgotten mementos of a previous owner
confirm the air of abandoned disuse.

This house needs unknown hours of repair;
work so different from my desk bound labors
where thinking is the only tool and words the only product.
I accept the challenge
and the work becomes my own restoration.