Dogged into place while still green
rough sawn and sharp scent heavy
now greyed and smoothed with years of tread
nail heads countersunk but unputtied
proud still where the wardrobe hid them.
Our makeshift tongue-in-groove
from strips of ply inserted in saw cuts
squinting in places with
pinpoints of light from the floor below.
In the mild longitudinal wave of grain
under foot, a faint hint still
of hills and trees beyond the walls.
‘Young swamp gum dries flatter,’
said the miller, thick armed sawyer
from the road below the house
when he landed long blond boards
from the bed of his wheezing truck.
And they did shrink, surface truer,
than rippled post and beam
of Tasmanian oak support,
cell structure caving less
as they slowly hardened
beyond the driving of nails.