Remodeling My Daughter’s Room
All the kitsch—pheasant feathers poking out
a top hat, hammered metal plates
made to look like silhouettes,
mustard and rose dresser with blue china pulls,
the carved black walnut desk with photos
of pebbles wet from a recent wave
and your mother wading in emerald water,
vinyl albums gathered from yard sales
for cover art of long-haired men
with cowboy mustaches and banjos—all goes.
I move a wall to make a homogenous room
that will accommodate any guest,
but that light, that early morning share of sunshine
like a slice of lemon straddling the curve
of a plain glass of water, that light remains.
I paint the room a darker blue,
hang curtains of tan cotton,
stain hardwoods with golden honey,
but each time I enter the light restores,
and you are with me lacing up boots
for a hike in the forest, or running shoes
to go on the wild and diminishing trail.
by Jeff Burt
Editor’s Note: This poem seems like a straightforward narrative reflection, until the reader realizes that the missing character, the narrator’s daughter, drives the emotional movement of the imagery. Life is very much not a static experience and this poem emphasizes that beautifully.