Junk

There's junk in the garage 
and it needs to be cleared
before summer sets in  
or the heat could cause 
something to ignite
and the whole thing 
would go up in seconds,
junk, cars, camping gear and all,
and of course we would go up with it;
so the first things I have to get rid of
are the empty buckets of cheap paint
the previous owners left behind 
after scheming to add a fresh coat 
on top of the termites to keep them hidden
until months after the close of escrow—
so now we have insects chewing through the walls;
what the house really needs is to be dismantled.
But next to the precarious buckets of paint
are fresh, unopened cans of thinner,
and next to those are piles 
of clean rags. I put them all together
with a paint scraper and go to work, 
stripping the chipped and faded brown
until the artificial layer is gone
and the wood is able to breathe again,
and I can figure out how much of it
needs to be replaced with new boards
that aren’t infested with parasites
and previous owners, and the 'SOLD' sign
the real estate agent never bothered
to come back for.
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