Hard to come by, hinges like those –
feel their thickness.
Chip out the layered years of clumsy paint,
leave them soak in easing oil.
With periodic gentle agitation,
from past into the present,
they’ll open fully once again.
The learning of new skills:
superannuated feet on rungs
are found and squarely planted.
Every joint and corner of every frame
is tested for integrity.
Each excavated face
gets hardened, sanded to a feather.
Slow work. Feel the difference
that sharpened tools can make,
if you take control of them.
Choosing age-long raw materials –
linseed, putty, turpentine –
entails more coats, extends their drying time,
yet will unite, bind with the grain.
Neither acrylic nor silicone
can claim the same;
repair without petrochemicals
does – in the short-term – cost you more.
But always rain finds a route to rot.
When sills begin to flake, we should not take
our window light for granted.