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Glazing Windows (For Jeanette)
by Katey Grey in Massachusetts

There is a way
to look past through the rippled glass
out onto the warped green
of a summer morning
to take up the patient art
of glazing old windows.

Flat knife in hand,
desiccated strips of hardened putty
are gently eased out,
loosened by arcing sunlight and
the coldest draft of each dark night.
Tiny metal points are jostled
out of the soft, silver wood
freeing each pane to
lift out
and then polish off caked-on fly guano,
spider legs and the chill of a hundred
winter storms.
The rich, pungent smell of linseed
oil and turpentine is brushed
into the thirsty wood
with a loverís touch.
(Yes, love has bound these splintering
boards and the fields beyond
to many a heart
through a paint brush, a pounded
nail or shovelful of fertile soil.)

You have given me that;
a way to see the world
through spavined casements,
quenched and fortified with pitted
glass and re-painted moldings,
to see, with full attention,
every knot and nail hole beyond,
looking out at the pure beauty
of an old red barn
saturated by the streak of a swallow
in the late summer light.

 

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