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House Nostalgia in Perspective

By Terry Trowbridge

One day the hardwood floor of my bedroom

will be pulled apart with crowbars and hammers.

Maybe the nails will be saved for reuse,

if metals are rare at the end of the world.

One day the hardwood floors of my bedroom

might burn bright green and waxy blue

their sealant stain staining the air in wildfire disaster,

if suburbs will leave the last layer of ash straddling the Anthropocene.

The hardwood floors of my room are made

from carbon, oxygen, steel, and hammer blows,

the kinetic energy dissipated in the rhythmic air long ago,

although some is still bound between wood and nail

to be popped like little bubbles of architecture

coming down at the end of a real estate reno boom.

I belong to the hardwood floor,

that square footage footfall field we share

with those before and afterwards,

for whom we really sweep and mop

caretaking for unknown, tentative, expected but unnamed,

rings in a tree, circles from bedroom to kitchen to door and back;

each circle another circuit lapped, linearly laid down like laths of time.


Terry Trowbridge’s poems have appeared in The New Quarterly, Carousel, subTerrain, paperplates, The Dalhousie Review, untethered, Quail Bell, The Nashwaak Review, Orbis, Snakeskin Poetry, Literary Yard, M58, CV2, Brittle Star, Bombfire, American Mathematical Monthly, The Academy of Heart and Mind, Canadian Woman Studies, The Mathematical Intelligencer, The Canadian Journal of Family and Youth, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, The Beatnik Cowboy, Borderless, Literary Veganism, and more. His lit crit has appeared in Ariel, British Columbia Review, Hamilton Arts & Letters, Episteme, Studies in Social Justice, Rampike, and The /t3mz/ Review. Terry is grateful to the Ontario Arts Council for his first writing grant, and their support of so many other writers during the polycrisis.

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