Prepping for New Carpet


My friend Carl gave me a place to stay during the crisis.  “You will help me out if you stay here for awhile,” he offered.  To keep the burglars and vandals away, he said.  I could stay for free; no rent.  It was his great-grandfather’s house, which Carl had bought generations later as an  investment property, a rental.  It certainly was an investment: the previous renters, in additional to not paying rent, had trashed the house on their way out: food and candle wax flung on the walls, holes punched in the bedroom doors, and animal feces ground into the carpets.  Carl painted and carpeted a bedroom for me to live in, and retiled a bathroom.  That’s where I lived, my mattress on the floor, my wardrobe in a duffel.  I helped Carl–a little–work on the rest of the house.  I spackled holes in walls, painted ceilings, and pulled baseboards and staples to prepare for new carpet.  Carl saved me.  He gave me a place to stay.  He gave me a reason to live.  Carl gave me hope and friendship.


in rows
in the floorboards;
tufts of pink
from rolls of ripped-out padding
caught beneath.

Bang ‘em in or pull ‘em out:
you can’t sweep with ‘em there.

Some are rusted
from spilled bear
and untrained dogs
that left dark
offenses on the wood.

Pound ‘em in or yank ‘em out—
don’t matter which:
new pad, new carpet: covers
everythin’: like nothin’ never happened.

Pull, pull and yank;
yank and pull—pull,
with pliers.
Sweep the room

11 thoughts on “Prepping for New Carpet

  1. Claudia Johanson

    This is so sweet, Roger! Como diz a canção ” Amigo é coisa pra se guardar do lado esquerdo do peito, dentro do coração.” Você é nosso amigo!

    Liked by 1 person


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