The Thing that was Different
I had painted that old garage before –
The first time was right after we bought the place.
Something about a new coat of paint
Gave a sense of pride and accomplishment.
The second time was after years of sun, wind and rain
Had pushed that structure to the limit.
Lots of living had taken place
Since the first painting.
We already had boxes
Of family memories
Stored on the shelves inside.
I spent a day scraping the sides of the garage
Clearing off the flakes of peeling paint.
I hired a man to help and
Between the two of us
The old garage shaped up
Good as new.
When the weathered boards
My daughter helped me with the painting.
She had not even been born
The first time I painted this place.
Once again I saw the beauty
Of a fresh coat taking shape.
That familiar satisfaction
Of new paint
Made my heart light.
Yet under the roller I heard the crackle
Of of dry wood.
The thing that was different
Was that I could
Feel it in my body.
I knew how that building felt, soaking up
The moist paint.
I did not recall
Knowing that before.
The old garage
Has steadfastly stood;
Holding tools and projects,
Cherished items and fond memories
Throughout the years.
The thing that was different this time
Was that after three grand efforts
In the life of the old building,
I did not think that
I would be painting this garage again.