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The Upstairs Room

 It must have been in March the rug wore through.
Now the day passes and I stare At warped pine boards my father's father nailed, At the twisted grain.
Exposed, where emptiness allows, Are the wormholes of eighty years; four generations' shoes Stumble and scrape and fall To the floor my father stained, The new blood streaming from his head.
The drift Of autumn fires and a century's cigars, that gun's Magnanimous and brutal smoke, endure.
In March the rug was ragged as the past.
The thread rots like the lives we fasten on.
Now it is August, And the floor is blank, worn smooth, And, for my life, imperishable.

by Weldon Kees
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