Spring 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 2 Poetry |

Virginia Woolf Joins the Work Force

With new Redwing boots, stiff overalls, cowhide tool belt holding every drill known to man, every hammer, hacksaw, wrench packed in, a struggle to keep our waists above our knees, we knock on the door of the weathered house, happy, full of purpose, three women dressed in tools. Inside we negotiate the crawl space, dance with nob and tube, blow in gales of insulation, add a couple of extra inches, pack her in tight, protecting the old woman downstairs from the elements, "outside the undifferentiated forces roar." V. Woolf. Downstairs we weatherstrip each door, wrap the water heater in a white fiberglass blanket like a new babe in swaddling clothes, the loving touch, the bare light in the garage a star in the East and we, the three Magi, stop a moment to admire our work. (Could this be what Virginia meant by "moments of being"?) Outside we hoist storm windows, double paned, as tight as Tupperware or as Saran Wrap on a bowl of leftover beans, you couldn't get a better fit,

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