The Gift – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

He bought it used. It was heavy and solid like home. Soon he began to peel the layers away. It was painted antique green and underneath she remembered a layer of white, then bright orange. She was not sure what the the other colors were but it had been coated and recoated by many who had different preferences. He spent hours cleaning away paint brushed into the crevices and cracks. It was a labor of care to reach the wood grain underneath all of those years. She watched him work off and on knowing he would continue. He told her it would be hers but her doubt piled up with the days. Through the sanding and peeling of hours of evenings. It was taking a long time, so much time and more than he realized it would. After all of that scraping away to bring the beauty to light, she knew that it couldn’t be passed to another, even a daughter that he loved. It wouldn’t be hers now. Not because it was an antique piano, but because of the time it took him to bring it back to life. When he said, “Yes, of course it is yours.” She was surprised by the love of those hours. It remains with her today.

winter through window

gold sunlight gleams in wood grain

warming to the touch

 ©Ali Grimshaw 2021

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34 thoughts on “The Gift – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

  1. Oh I LOVE this memory Ali. I am taken with you through the hours and hours of work, the peeling and scraping, the many layers of paint. My husband refinished a lot of furniture in our early married days. Furniture we’d get at auctions or antique shops…the kind that was inexpensive. And he would spend, as you say, hours and hours sanding, scraping, then staining. What a joyful memory and how extremely special that you still have this labor of love. Was it your father who refinished it? I love the haiku: I’m thinking the golden sunlight gleams in the wood…and it represents the love that lies within that grain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, my father found the piano at a garage sale and he refinished it. It is now 116 years old.
      I appreciate your feedback on the haiku. That was the message I was hoping for. I don’t write haiku so I wasn’t too sure about that part.
      I so appreciate you getting me going with your prompt. I am going to give this poem to my dad.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. He told her it would be hers but her doubt piled up with the days…. It was taking a long time, so much time and more than he realized it would….she knew that it couldn’t be passed to another…. When he said, “Yes, of course it is yours.” She was surprised by the love of those hours. It remains with her today.

    Liked by 1 person

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